ARC returns: WKSP not set

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround

Invoking ARC returns the message:

WKSP not set

How can this be prevented?


PC ARC/INFO sets a WKSP environmental variable. This environmental variable is not getting recognized.

1. Try increasing the DOS environment space size specified in CONFIG.SYS. Be sure that at least 512 bytes have been allocated for environment size in CONFIG.SYS. This line should look something like the following.


This assumes COMMAND.COM is at 'C:\'. The number '512' represents the size in
bytes for environment space.

2. If there is a "busy" environment because of a complex PC configuration, then the WKSP variable may not be getting recognized because there are too many additional "SET" statements in AUTOEXEC.BAT. PC ARC/INFO reads in only the first 1000 bytes of environment (2000 with 3.4.2). It may be necessary to implement a stripped down version of AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. Try excluding any non-PC ARC/INFO required lines from these files.

3. If using versions 3.4D through 3.4.1, then try to set the WKSP variable in
AUTOEXEC.BAT. Set it to some temporary directory like follows:


4. If using version 3.4.2, then set WKSP to be about 70 random characters such


This will reserve space in the DOS environment while running the WINDOWS extensions.

Version 3.4.2 also has a WKSPDIR environmental variable that can be set. Set WKSPDIR to a temporary directory on a hard drive for PC ARC/INFO to store temporary workspace files. Please note that the backslash at the end of the file name is required. This line should look like:


Article ID:000001777

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