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Technical Bulletin 2020

Audit Utilities - Environment Variables

The automatic audit utilities (HARDADT.EXE, CFGADT.EXE and SOFTADT.EXE) can collect data from environment variables. The utilities (and virtually all programs) collect data from the master environment.

Your operating system maintains both master environments and child (secondary) environments. It is easy to use the wrong instance of an environment variable because the operating system can actually maintain several copies of the same environment variable. Each instance can have different values!

When you run the SET command you are modifying (or creating) an environment variable. Whether you are modifying (or creating) the variable in the master environment or the child environment depends on when you run the SET command. For example, assigning a value to an environment variable MYVAR in your main autoexec.bat (in any version of Windows) will modify the value of the variable in the master environment.

The fact that the operating system can actually define multiple environment variables with the same name can be very confusing. If you have modified a variable in a child environment and have not updated (or created) the variable in the master environment, NetKeeper will not load its value during an audit.

Rules to ensure that you are modifying master environment variables:


The SET command always updates the master environment unless you are running a secondary copy (a child shell) of the command interpreter. You start a secondary (or child) copy of the command interpreter by typing COMMAND at a DOS prompt.

Windows 3.x

Same rules as DOS. In addition, using the SET command from a DOS Windows will modify a child environment and not a master environment.

Windows 95/98

Same rules as Windows 3.x. To modify the master environment in Win 95, you must run SET before Windows loads. To run SET before Windows loads, run SET from AUTOEXEC.BAT or from your network login script. Some networks have special forms of SET to modify the master environment. For example, Novell uses the DOS SET command.


Almost always modifies the master environment


For additional information on the SET or the DOS SET command, see your Operating System manual.


NetKeeper Express and Configuration manager can collect all environment variables from the operating system. To collect the environment variables :

1- Select SOFTWARE -> Configuration Audit Script

2- Add the line :


3-RUN the configuration audit

When the configuration audit is run (CFGADT.EXE), NetKeeper will enter the output of the DOS command SET into the database. The SET command returns all environment variables.

To display the results:

1- Start the NK Express or Configuration Manager program.


3-Highlight a PC and press Configuration Files

4-Select DETAIL

5-Select the output from the SET command

6-View the data

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