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Many IT pros still use the Autoexec.bat file to set
environment variables, which is fine in most cases. However, if you set an
environment variable in the Autoexec.bat file and then discover that the
variable has a different value than the one you specified, the variable was
probably overridden by the same setting in the Environment Variables dialog
This is because during the startup procedure Windows XP
searches the startup files and processes the environment variable settings in
the following order:
Therefore, if you set the same environment variable in the
Autoexec.bat file and in the System Variables section, the value assigned in
the System Variables section will override the value assigned in the Autoexec.bat
To avoid these types of problems, you might want to get into the habit of setting environment variables in the Environment Variables dialog box. Here’s how:
My Computer and select Properties to open the System Properties dialog
the Advanced tab and press the Environment Variables button.
From the Environment Variables dialog box, you can set
user-specific variables or system-specific variables by pressing the New or
Edit buttons and then selecting OK.