# Windows XP PATH not interpreting environment variables

This one took me a while to figure out. I have my PATH environment variable set up to include other paths that are also defined by an environment variable. For example, I have Maven set up in the following way:

``` M2_HOME = C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\apache-maven-2.0.9 M2 = %M2_HOME%\bin PATH = %M2%;[a whole lot of other dirs] ```

Today, I tried to run a Maven build, and it wasn’t recognizing the maven\bin in my path. When I did an echo on my path, the path had the following:

`%M2%;C:\Program Files...`

`C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\apache-maven-2.0.9\bin`

which would be the value of %M2%

When I did:

`echo %M2%`

I got the full path C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\apache-maven-2.0.9\bin

What was going on?

Well, apparently, Windows has a limit on the size of your path and when it hits that limit, it just stops interpreting your %VARIABLES% set in the path.

So, the solution is to either reorganize all of your files into more succinctly named directories, or remove some of the dirs from your path.

Thanks M\$. Hope this helps someone else.

## 3 thoughts on “Windows XP PATH not interpreting environment variables”

1. Mark says:

life saver!

2. tolis says:

Thnx!

3. cybermosh says:

thank you, thank you, thank you!!. I would never have guessed that one in a million years.