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st: Error 193 (and plain text messages)

From   Fred Wolfe <>
Subject   st: Error 193 (and plain text messages)
Date   Fri, 07 Oct 2005 07:00:28 -0500

This is to share with the list the query, response and solution to my query to the list about "error 193" that started In late September.

The exchange did not appear on the Stata list because some of the text forwarded to me was "copied text" that was formatted. I was unable to clean it and my message was rejected by the Stata list server. My emailer is set to send plain text by default, but also to allow formatted text to be included . In retrospect, I should have dumped the entire message in the text editor, then copied it back to the email program.

Err 193

We noted that the following command would work on all of our Windows XP Pro SP2 machines except one.

winexec c:/Program Files/TextPad 4/TextPad
"winexec c:/Program Files/TextPad 4/TextPad"

On that one it produced a Stata error 193 message. The problem was that Stata doesn't have an error 193 message.

Alan Riley found the solution to the problem of getting the command to work. He suggested:

`"winexec "c:/Program Files/TextPad 4/TextPad""'

As to why we had the problem, he wrote,

"The one thing that is for sure is that on the machine with the problem,
CreateProcess() is resulting in a Microsoft error "193" even when being
passed the exact same arguments as CreateProcess() on your machine. This
must mean that some system DLL is somehow different on the machine with
the problem. It is hard to say whether it should be considered a feature
or a bug in the CreateProcess() call. Given the ambiguity that can
occur without the quotes, I am leaning toward thinking of it as a feature
even though it is getting in your way."

As to the question regarding "what does error 193 mean, anyway," he replied,

Stata really shouldn't be showing you that number since it isn't
a Stata return code. It would be better if Stata returned something
like "r(199)" for "unrecognized command" with some additional information
about the Microsoft error that is returned. According to Microsoft
documentation, an error code of 193 corresponds to


with associated error text of

is not a valid Win32 application

Given that the path being used was

c:/Program Files/TextPad 4/TextPad

my final guess is that perhaps there is a directory on the system
in question named

c:/Program Files/TextPad/

and therefore CreateProcess() tried to execute it instead of

c:/Program Files/TextPad 4/TextPad

Thank to Alan Riley!

Fred Wolfe

Fred Wolfe
National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases
Wichita, Kansas
Tel (316) 263-2125 Fax (316) 263-0761

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