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PATHs in Windows and Cygwin

My Windows PATH (XP Pro) is the moderately standard


None of this is inherited when I use Cygwin, where the PATH is set to be


However, if I start Cygwin from a command prompt having first set the
Windows PATH to (null) as follows

    c:> set PATH=
    c:> j:\bin\bash

then not everything works: I get messages of the style "This application has
failed to start because cygwin1.dll was not found".

1. I realise that Cygwin is not standalone (it needs a Windows platform to
run) but I had not realised that the conduit to required Windows files would
be through PATH (if setting PATH to (null) is indeed the reason for the
error msgs and loss of functionality).

But 2. If this _is_ the reason, why does the error msg refer to a missing
cygwin1.dll, which is clearly there on the Cygwin PATH?

Can anybody illuminate this for me, please? Thank you.


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