[R] Error with 1.9.0 - Invalid HOMEDRIVE

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Apr 21 15:49:51 CEST 2004

On Wed, 21 Apr 2004, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 10:21:36 +0100 (BST), Prof Brian Ripley
> <ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
> >For the record, it looks like the C entry point getenv() has been broken,
> >and since 1.9.0 introduced a length check on the result of getenv it 
> >terminates `cleanly' whereas 1.8.1 segfaults.  Or possibly the setting of 
> >environment variables (HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH) has been broken, which 
> >would amount to the same thing.
> I think I'm current with MS updates, but I don't see any problems like
> the ones described, or with the R function Sys.getenv.  

Nor do I, as I said in the part of the message you have clipped.

> What symptoms
> make you think getenv() is broken?

Because it is the result from getenv that is tested in 1.9.0 and not in
1.8.1.  The error message from 1.9.0 is generated iff getenv returns an
overlong string for HOMEDRIVE or HOMEPATH, or a null string for HOMEPATH.  
We can discard the last being true in the environment, as it works if the
patch is backed out (as I understand it).  So getenv must suddenly be 
returning an incorrect result (or something very catastrophic happens to 
end up jumping to that error message, but let's look for simple 
explanations first).

> My suspicion about the reported problems would be the usual suspects:
> anti-virus software, keyboard accelerators, virus infection, etc.

Or in this case we have been told by David Scott and less unequivocably 
by others, Microsoft critical updates.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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