What is ‘%windir%’ Windows Process?

Last Updated on August 7, 2019

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The windir environment variable is created by Windows. It is not user-defined or added by the installation or configuration of a program. This environment variable has been defined up to Windows 3.0. If the var env is not defined, some applications will not be able to use it to find the path to the operating system files (or where they have dirty the operating system folder when backing up the files used by this program). The Windir variable may not be listed when you view it (right click on My Computer or open the System applet in Control Panel, Advanced tab, Environment Variables button). If it is not defined, Windows creates it when you log in.

What is’%windir%’?

The %windir%\System32 directory is reserved for 64-bit applications on 64-bit Windows. Most DLL file names have not been changed when creating 64-bit versions of DLLs, so 32-bit versions of DLLs are stored in a different directory. WOW64 hides this difference by using a file system redirector.

In most cases, when a 32-bit application tries to access %windir%\System32, %windir%\lastgood\system32, or %windir%\regedit.exe, access is redirected to an architecture-specific path.

How can I retrieve the path to the %windir% folder on a computer?

So, is it really so difficult to know which folder is the Windows folder? Fortunately not; all you really have to do is query the Win32_OperatingSystem WMI class and return the value of the WindowsDirectory property :

strComputer = “.”

Set objWMIService = GetObject(“winmgmts:\\” & strComputer & “\root\cimv2”)

Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery(“Select * From Win32_OperatingSystem”)

For Each objItem in colItems

Wscript.Echo objItem.WindowsDirectory


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As you can see, there’s not much behind this script. We start by connecting to the WMI service on the local computer; if we want to determine the Windows folder on a remote computer, we just need to change the value of the strComputer variable to the name of that remote computer. For example, these two lines of code connect us to the WMI service on the remote computer atl-fs-01 :

strComputer = “atl-fs-01”

Set objWMIService = GetObject(“winmgmts:\\” & strComputer & “\root\cimv2”)

How can I check which folder a particular order refers to?

Many orders are preceded and followed by the percentage symbol. When these commands are entered and executed at the command prompt, they open a specific folder/directory. If you want to be sure which folder a particular command refers to, you can repeat its location before executing the command. This helps you identify the file and can prevent some security risks.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the runtime prompt.
  2. Type “cmd” and press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Enter” to get administrator rights.
  3. Type’Echo’ and paste the command with the percentage symbols before and after.
  4. Press “Enter” to execute the command.
  5. The command prompt will now list the exact directory/address to which the command refers.
  6. You can also enter the address at the Run prompt and open it with Enter.


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