I would like to that a cmd command prompt, which maps a network directory to a local path, and then adds that local path to the (local) PATH variable.

I have prepared this kind of .bat script, which runs as expected:

pushd \\NetworkPath\Users\myname\Downloads
SET CurrentDir="%~dp0"
SET var=%cd% & SET CDIR=`chdir`
for /f "usebackq" %%x in (`chdir`) do set bvar=%%x
SET PATH=%PATH%;%bvar%
@echo IT IS: %CurrentDir%, %var%, %CDIR%, %bvar% ;;; %PATH% ---  %CD%

Essentially, this is the script I'd like to run upon the start of new cmd.exe when I run the .bat file. The problem is that when a network path is "mounted" (e.g. when pushd is invoked), it always gets a new and different local drive letter (X:, Y:, Z: ...), so I have to detect what this local drive path equivalent is (e.g. via chdir) before I can add it to PATH for that session; and also, I'm puzzled why SET PATH=%PATH%;%bvar% always doubles the semicolon ; before the appended part, when the final concatenated PATH is echoed.

I've learned that percent sign % is escaped by doubling it (%%); that ampersand & is the separator to concatenate multiple lines of code into a single line, which is escaped with caret ^, but I'm still puzzled as double quotes " seem to end up verbatim in either variables via SET, or out of echo; also the for command always seems to execute (and I cannot escape it with caret) - even if it is a part of a SET variable statement.

So ultimately, I cannot get this script converted to a one-liner, so I can use it as an argument to start.exe as startup commands; note that I would not like to have two batch files, I'd like to have only one. I'd like to first store this script in a variable, so I can echo it for debugging - and this is how far I got:

SET TCMD="" pushd \\NetworkPath\Users\myname\Downloads ^& chdir ^& SET CurrentDir="%%~dp0" ^& SET var=^%%cd^%% ^& SET CDIR=^(`chdir`) ^& SET PATH=%%PATH%%;%%CD%% ^& echo %%CurrentDir%%, %%var%%, %%CDIR%%, %%bvar%% ;;; %%PATH%% ---  %%CD%% ""
echo %TCMD%
start cmd.exe /k "%TCMD%"

Problem - the new cmd.exe starts with:

'""' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

Then, %CD% refers to the previous directory (one the .bat script was started from), not to the new one.

None of these retrieve the new drive/path name when ran like this - except maybe for /f "usebackq" %%x in (`chdir`), which I cannot really capture (I can see its output), and doesn't seem all that consistent either (sometimes it seems it reports empty).

How can I get my first script escaped, so it can serve as a one-liner in the start argument of my second script, so I can start cmd.exe terminal as intended?


  • What is the goal? You open a window to open a new one, this is your goal? If that's it, just create a batch opening another with the start command
    – Paul
    Sep 26, 2015 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


You are way over thinking this. You can't seem to see the forest for the trees ;-)

First off, "%~dp0" gives the location of your currently executing script, not the current directory.

Secondly, you are already using %CD% to print out the current directory at the end - why not use it when you extend your PATH !?

@echo off
pushd "\\NetworkPath\Users\myname\Downloads"
path %path%;"%cd%"

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