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Windows 7: Using "start" in command prompt

17 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Using "start" in command prompt


I understand what the %path% and %pathext% variables are.

typing: "notepad" or "calc" in the command prompt from any directory will open notepad.exe and calc.exe because their directories are in %path% and ".exe" is in %pathext%.

On the other hand "wordpad.exe" and "chrome.exe are not in %path% so typing "wordpad" or "chrome" from a random directory doesn't work.

however, typing "start wordpad" or "start chrome" does work. How come? How does the start command know where to find the executables?

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #2

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

I don't have chrome installed but I do have wordpad installed and I can simply type Wordpad, hit enter and Wordpad starts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Wordpad is very much located in the path (C:\windows\system32\write.exe), thats why it opens from the run box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Typing write works
Typing wordpad doesn't work (seems to work for karlsnooks)
Typing "start wordpad" works! My question is how come.

I figured it out. When you use the start command, in addition to looking in the %path% it looks at all file types.

For example if I type "ftype" in the command line, I get:

ChromeHTML="C:\Users\Ralph\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -- "%1"
Wordpad.Document.1="%ProgramFiles%\Windows NT\Accessories\WORDPAD.EXE" "%1"

I tested out other programs to confirm:
"start iexplore"
"start winamp"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 10 Pro X64

As long as there is a subkey for the program under this registry key, it can be launched from the Run box.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths

This is not true from a Command Prompt.Try this from the run box or a Command Prompt (all on one line):

cmd /c reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths" /s > app_paths.txt & notepad app_paths.txt & del app_paths.txt

Notepad will open with the contents of that registry key then delete the file when you close notepad.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using "start" in command prompt

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