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Windows 7: Is there a difference between %comspec% and "cmd"

30 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Is there a difference between %comspec% and "cmd"

I just noticed that the result of typing "cmd" and "%comspec%" in the command prompt ends with the exact same behavior. Aside from the fact that "cmd" is a command and "%comspec%" an environment variable, there must be a suitable usage when "cmd" is preferred over "%comspec%".

Are there subtle differences? When should I use what?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

%comspec% is a system variable that simply points to cmd.exe so typing either runs cmd.exe. the reason it is there is to allow better programming access to the cmd.exe program, if you need to move the location of the cmd program then a simple change of the variable should allow correctly written applications to continue to work. It also allows you to replace cmd.exe with another program for special purposes.

These variables have been around since the early days of windows and as long as programmers use them a lot of the incompatibilities seen in programs which do not work with upgraded operating systems would not occur
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is there a difference between %comspec% and "cmd"

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