Windows XP used to set the environment variable Path of a command prompt to <system_PATH><user_PATH>. Perhaps after a software installation, its behavior changed to picking up <system_PATH> only. How do I configure it to pick up <user_PATH> again?
The above answer by prrao didn't apply because they didn't understand the question. I am noticing the exact same behavior on a VirtualBox WinXP install. I created a new user and went over to it via log out and log in and it worked properly there. But, as soon as I came back to the user account having the problems, it remained broken.
So, at least I ruled out that it was something specific to that actual user profile.
The solution I then finally discovered was what appears to be a size limitation. I trimmed the contents of the user's Path environment variable down to a much smaller size and moved some of it into the system environment variable block and then it started working again. So, I recommend that you try and shorten it up and see if that will make a difference.
Click on Start > Run, type regedit.exe. Navigate to the following branch:
In the right-pane, double-click Autorun and put in
CD /d <user_PATH>
Autorunis missing, you need to create one (of type "string") in the above location
NOTE: In the user path, use backslash (
\) as the path separator; eg:
Open an instance of command prompt. The default start path should have changed back to