For Strawberry Perl, and Padre, I use a custom entry in the Start Menu, which technically is a shortcut (*.LNK file). For example, for Padre the command line in the shortcut file was:
/c PATH=c:\strawberry\perl\bin;c:\strawberry\c\bin;%PATH% && padre
Likewise, the command line for my Strawberry shell was:
Overnight, these both stopped working.
After a bit of puzzling, I figured out that a new program had been installed by Windows Update, and this had added a new directory to PATH. As a result, after the environment variable was substituted with its real value, the length of the expanded command line was now longer than 256 bytes, and now PATH got truncated.
The length of the command line for a shortcut, after expansion, should never be longer than 256 bytes.
If you put the code for modification of PATH in a *.BAT file, no such restriction applies.
So now, my shortcut to start the command shell is:
where c:\strawberry\strawberry_path.bat contains the lines
which makes it easier for me to add more Perl based tools that depend on these entries in PATH: I now have a central location for the definition, if I ever need to add or modify a directory.