How to Rename the NLSPATH System Variable in Windows XP

Screenshot of the Environment Variables Dialog Box in Windows XP
Environment Variables Dialog Box.

The NLSPATH system variable, short for National Language Support Path, is an environment variable set in some Windows XP systems.

This variable has been known to generate error messages like the ntdll.dll error on some systems, the solution for which is to rename the variable so Windows XP will no longer refer to it.

Follow the simple steps below to rename the NLSPATH system variable.

How to Rename the Windows XP NLSPATH System Variable

  1. Open Control Panel by clicking on Start and then Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Performance and Maintenance link.
    1. Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, double-click on the System icon and skip to Step 4.
  3. Under the or pick a Control Panel icon section, click on the System link.
  4. In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab.
  5. When viewing the Advanced tab, click on the Environment Variables button at the bottom of the window, directly above the OK button.
  6. In the Environment Variables window that appears, locate the System variables area at the bottom of the window.
  7. Using the scroll bar in this text area to view all of the entries, locate and select the entry reading NLSPATH in the Variable column.
    1. Note: Not all Windows XP systems will have an NLSPATH variable listed. If yours does not, you can discontinue these steps and continue with any other troubleshooting steps you may have been working through.
  8. With the NLSPATH variable selected, click on the Edit button below the text area.
  9. In the Edit System Variable window, in the Variable name: text box, rename NLSPATH to NLSPATHOLD.
  10. Click OK in the Edit System Variable window, again in the Environment Variables window, and once more in the System Properties window.
  11. Restart your computer.
  12. Test your system to see if renaming the NLSPATH variable resolved your issue.