Why can't I execute programs in the application data area even after I add %APPDATA% to the path string on my Windows XP or Windows 2000 computer?

A. The APPDATA environment variable points to the user's application data area (e.g., C:\documents and settings\<user>\application data). However, even if you add this variable to the path string, you might still experience problems executing programs in this folder unless you include the full path. This problem occurs because of a bug in XP and Win2K. The workaround is to use the My Computer management interface to update the path variable by performing the following steps:

  1. Right-click My Computer, then select Manage from the context menu.
  2. Right-click "Computer Management (Local)," then select Properties.
  3. Select the Advanced tab.
  4. Under the Environment variables area, click the Settings button.
  5. Double-click the PATH variable, then add the %APPDATA% environment variable.
  6. Click OK to close all dialog boxes.
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