Windows Path Environment Variable Length

10. February 2014 13:14 by Cameron in Windows  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments

I recently started getting "Target Invocation" errors while trying to launch Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2013. This was a strange error message as not much else was given to diagnose the problem. After some extended research, I found that having an extra long PATH variable can cause Visual Studio to hang on startup. Windows limits this length to 2048 characters. Although you can still have a PATH variable longer than that, some programs like Visual Studio can't address a PATH environment variable larger than 2048 characters. A remedy to this problem is to split out your PATH variable into at least two variables. 

First, you need to open your PATH variable and copy its value into a safe spot in case it gets messed up. Then you can extract the last half of your path and create a new environment variable and call it PATH2. After your new environment variable is setup, you can reference it in your main PATH


Some may be asking, why would my PATH ever exceed 2048 characters? The answer is that if you're a developer and have lots of compilers, IDEs, and toolchains installed on your development machine such as Visual Studio, Net Beans, GCC, Qt, or devkitpro, your PATH can grow fairly quickly. 

If you ever exceed 2048 characters in PATH2, you can append another variable such as PATH3 or PATH4. I'm not certain if there is a real physical limit to user created environment variables, but if you experience problems, you can do as I mentioned. Note, I have a Windows 7 x64 development machine at work and I haven't seen this issue in Windows XP or Windows 8. I haven't done development on Windows XP in several years since it is now showing its age and Microsoft is discontinuing support in April 2014.

MSI GT70 0ND-202US Gaming Laptop/Hackbook

28. August 2012 00:51 by Cameron in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

I recently bought a gaming laptop from MSI on Newegg with some pretty excellent specifications:

Laptop: MSI GT70 0ND-202US Z77M, Intel Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz, 12GB DDR3 RAM, 750GB Hitachi, 250GB WD, NVIDIA GTX 675M / Intel HD 4000 (Optimus), Realtek HD Audio (voodoohda), Wireless-N Atheros 9285 Half mini PCI  Express Card - Windows 8 Professional x64 RTM, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Retail


To install OS X Mountain Lion, download the Mountain Lion installer from the App Store (MacOS X 10.6.8 or higher) and use Unibeast to create a USB installation disk. Once the disk is created, you can then boot from the flash drive to install Mountain Lion! At the boot prompt, be sure to boot verbose using the '-v' option and also set 'GraphicsEnabler=No' as at the time of writing this guide, the NVIDIA GTX 675M cannot be used as the primary GPU and the Intel HD 4000 will need some tweaks later to get QE/CI. Once in the installer, you will need to choose where to install OS X Mountain Lion. You can install to your existing disk on a separate partition or install to a secondary disk (recommended). You will need to make sure that the hard drive you are installing ML to is using the GUID partitioning map and not MBR. If you need MBR, you'll need to patch the installer.




The MSI GT70 0ND-202US comes stock with an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2330 mini PCI Express card which will need to be subbed out with another compatible card. Swapping cards is fairly simple. All you need to do is pop up the speaker panel and disconnect the existing card and replace with the new one. One thing that you must do is make sure the Wifi LED is lit, otherwise, you won't be able to use the card. Here's a complete guide on how to choose an appropriate replacement card and how to get it working:

Intel HD 4000 QE/CI

Using the MacBook Pro 9,1 SMBIOS, LegacyAGPM.kext, 1920x1080x32, and DSDT injection for 01660004 you can achieve QE/CI. It should also be noted that I have removed AppleIntelSNBFramebuffer.kext as it is not needed with the Intel HD 4000 (probably could stop the kext from loading with DSDT later). Here's the DSDT patch for injecting the ig-platform-id:

into method label _DSM parent_adr 0x00020000 remove_entry;
into device name_adr 0x00020000 insert
                DTGP (Arg0,Arg1,Arg2,Arg3,RefOf(Local0))\n

Using DSDT Editor, you'll have to apply the above patch as well as the DTGP patch from the patches directory.


VoodooHDA 2.7.2 - note, you'll have to edit the Info.plist in VoodooHDA.kext so that there isn't a hissing sound coming from the VoodooHDA prefpane. 

USB 3.0 fix (temporary)

One thing that I have found is that if you remove AppleUSBXHCI.kext from the plugins in IOUSBFamily.kext, it will treat USB 3.0 ports as just USB 2.0 ports and crashing no longer happens. This is a temporary fix until full USB 3.0 support exists (possibly in a later update). Make a backup of your existing IOUSBFamily.kext and then do the edits and re-install using Kextbeast.


 Here's the voodoo kexts that I use for my laptop. Included is a kext for the battery, audio, and trackpad (multitouch). (212.01 kb)

 Here's my patched DSDT. As I make edits to my DSDT, I'll upload this attachment. I hope this helps for anyone with my laptop or similar.

dsdt.aml (47.02 kb)



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