[BUG] CUDA setup corrupting PATH environment variable and registry key


Despite the title it is not only CUDA setup, it is also driver setup because they are both installed using same setup technology developed by NVIDIA.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Download CUDA 10.1 or latest 419.17 display drivers, both setups will do the same.
  2. Open regedit.exe and navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
  3. Make sure that Path registry key is of type REG_EXPAND_SZ.
  4. Right-click This PC -> Properties then click Advanced System Settings then Environment Variables
  5. In System variables list locate and double-click Path entry
  6. Click new and add an entry %ProgramFiles%\7-Zip (it is just example, no need to have 7-Zip installed)
  7. Click OK until you close all windows
  8. Run CUDA or display driver setup and let it finish.
  9. Repeat steps 2 to 5.

Expected behavior:

  1. NVIDIA related paths (such as PhysX, CUDA, etc) should be added at the end of list.
  2. Other values should not be changed.
  3. Registry key Path should be of type REG_EXPAND_SZ.

Actual behavior:

  1. NVIDIA related paths (such as PhysX, CUDA, etc) are added at the end of list.
  2. All other values which had other environment variables as part of path (such as %SystemRoot%\system32, %SystemRoot%, %ProgramFiles%) got expanded.
  3. Since setup.exe is 32-bit process running on 64-bit OS, variables like %ProgramFiles%, %CommonProgramFiles%, %comspec% get incorrectly expanded to their 32-bit values because of Wow64 filesystem redirection.
  4. Registry key Path is set as REG_SZ.

Please fix, it’s annoying to go and revert the changes everytime driver or CUDA are updated.

Theses forums are not designed as a bug-reporting venue, although Robert Crovella sometimes takes it upon himself to open bugs in response to issues reported here.

I would suggest using the bug-reporting form available via the registered developer account to report the issue. Log in here: https://developer.nvidia.com/

It would be nice if someone picked it up because it is also a bug in driver setup since they share the same setup code.

You should file bugs at developer.nvidia.com, as already indicated. The process is described here:


Bugs aren’t picked up from the forums.


I know how to report a bug, but there is no “Setup” category for CUDA Toolkit, not to mention that I have no Display Driver category at all, let alone “Setup” under that.

I submitted it under “Other” category so don’t blame me if it doesn’t get picked up by the right team or at all because the ball is now squarely in NVIDIA’s court.

As for “Bugs aren’t picked up from the forums”, yes they get picked (for display drivers at least) on GeForce forums, Manuel Guzman sometimes picks them up. Maybe you all should follow his example instead of making your customers jump through hoops to report such glaring issues which should have been caught by your own QA team?

Thanks for filing the bug.

You’re right, I should have said “Bugs are not guaranteed to be picked up in every case.”


FYI, the bug is still “open”, not even confirmed after this much time.

There is nothing I would attempt to do without the bug number. Even then, I don’t control priorities of our development teams.

Thanks for filing the bug.

I am not asking for priority or for a fix ETA, just whether it has been reproduced and acknowledged.

Reproducing and confirming shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

Approximately 1 hour ago, an email was sent to the address you used to report the bug, acknowledging receipt. The issue has been observed internally at this time. It will not be addressed in the next CUDA public release. If there are any changes made for it, it would be some time after that.

I wouldn’t be able to provide further updates until the issue is addressed in a public release. If there are additional questions and I don’t respond, it means there is nothing I can share publicly. Questions asking variants of “when will this be fixed” will specifically not be responded to. I a unable to make forward-looking statements on this forum, especially as it pertains to software or hardware development schedules.

Has this been fixed in the CUDA 10.1 Update 1? I could not find it in the release notes. @levicki have you tried it yet with Update 1?

It is not fixed in CUDA 10.1 update 1. I don’t have any information on when it will be fixed.

Thanks for info. I wished things like that would land in the “known issues” section of the release notes for Update 1.

After all this time I still don’t have any new information on this bug which is still annoying the hell out of me every time I have to change NVIDIA drivers.

On september 5th, 2019, an email was sent to the email address used to file the bug, with the following contents:

Dear Igor,
The fix will be posted in the next CUDA release.

CUDA 10.2 (which is available now) should contain the fix.

Dear Robert,

I will download and install CUDA 10.2 to check.

In the meantime, since this bug also affects NVIDIA driver setup – I just tested with 441.28 studio driver the bug is still there. Do you have any idea when the same fix will roll out for driver setup as well?

The fix was also picked up in R440 (and newer) driver branches, so that should include the 441.28 driver.

I think a useful test would still be to try the CUDA 10.2 with its bundled R440 driver, and see what you observe. Then report your findings back into the bug if you wish.

Robert, I will definitelly test this with CUDA 10.2, though I am not happy that I have to install another R440 driver because I am having issues with all drivers since 430.86 and Iray in DAZ Studio (CPU fallback).

Tested, does not work, not fixed. Waste of time. Giant shame for a big company like NVIDIA.

Not to mention that even the drivers in CUDA package are not WHQL certified and Windows asks whether to trust NVIDIA while installing.

As for me, I have less and less trust in NVIDIA software so it seems that next time I get such a question request will be denied, NVIDIA software removed, and NVIDIA hardware sold never to be bought again.

Failing to fix a simple PATH corruption issue for seven months is totally unacceptable.

Releasing non-WHQL drivers in developer package is next level of unacceptable.

Thanks for the warning. I tend to take preventive measures when I install packages as large as this. Especially since I have had issues with the previous two updates. For this package, the first thing I do is export some registry keys of interest. The environment variables are one of those. I find it much easier to recover from errors when I do this. I have noticed the environment variables are somewhat problematic when installing the CUDA SDK. I filed a bug report/suggestion about this previously.