Back from a few days off, and a batch file would not work

I got back into my office after a few days off and had an email to install a new monitoring tool. I only needed to run a batch file to install it, then it would monitor OneNote, make its reports and keep itself updated.

I clicked the link in the batch file and the a DOS window popped open, then disappeared. Then the tool crashed. I tried again (to see if this was a deterministic crash) and it crashed again. A quick look at the batch file with the author of it showed this:

echo Detecting OS processor type


echo 32-bit OS

xcopy "\\servername\folder\tool\x86\tool.exe" "C:\localfolder\" /y



echo 64-bit OS

xcopy "\\servername\folder\tool\x64\tool.exe" "C:\localfolder\" /y


Looks good. If I have a 64 bit machine (which I do), the x64 version gets installed, and x86 users will get the x86 version.

A little investigation showed that (confusingly) the x86 version was being installed.

So I started thinking about how this would happen. I opened a command prompt and typed SET to see if Processor_Architecture was AMD64, and it was.

A little more thought about this made me remember that I have a Click to Run install of Office. And it just so happens that Click to Run is a 32 bit install of Office, so the minimal virtual machine in which it runs is also, by necessity, 32 bit. My assumption was that since I was running the batch file from Outlook, I was running in a 32 bit environment. A quick test of copying the link from email and running it from Windows properly installed the 64 bit version of the tool.

Interesting that the environment variable was the culprit. A bit more poking around showed that the environment variable PROCESSOR_ARCHITEW6432 is what we should be using in virtual environments like this, so the tool was quickly updated:

echo Detecting OS processor type


if "%PROCESSOR_ARCHITEW6432%"=="AMD64" goto 64BIT

And so on…

Now the batch file installs the correct version of the tool based on the base OS.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (3)

  1. Phillip says:

    I am missing something, I do not see the difference between the original if statements and the updated if statements.

    What am I missing?

  2. JohnGuin says:

    AH – I had an extra line in the original batch file.  Fixed.

  3. JohnGuin says:

    And good catch!

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