LSTRCPY API  Call to Receive LPSTR Returned From Other APIs

See AlsoVMZ7S4


This article is reprinted from the Microsoft Knowledge Base.  To view the article, maximize your help window.  This information applies to Visual Basic for Windows, versions 2.0 and 3.0.




Because Microsoft Visual Basic does not support a pointer data type,

you cannot directly receive a pointer (such as a LPSTR) as the return

value from a Windows API or DLL function. You can work around this

limitation by receiving the return value as a long integer data type

and then using the lstrcpy Windows API function to copy the returned

string into a Visual Basic string.


More Information:


An LPSTR Windows API data type is actually a far pointer to a

null-terminated string of characters. Because an LPSTR is a far

pointer, it can be received as a four byte data type, such as a Visual

Basic long integer. Using the Visual Basic "ByVal" keyword, you can

pass the address stored in a Visual Basic long integer back to the

Windows API lstrcpy routine to copy the characters at that address

into a Visual Basic string variable. Because lstrcpy expects the

target string to be long enough to hold the source string, you should

pad any Visual Basic string passed to lstrcpy to have a size large

enough to hold the source string before passing it to lstrcpy. Failure

to allocate enough space in the Visual Basic string may result in an

Unrecoverable Application Error or General Protection Fault when

you call lstrcpy.


The following is an example program that demonstrates the use of

lstrcpy to retrieve a LPSTR pointer returned from the Windows API

GetDOSEnvironment routine. Note that the capability of the Windows

API GetDOSEnvironment routine is already available through the

Environ function built into Visual Basic; therefore, the following


program mainly serves as an example of using lstrcpy.



'*** General declarations ***

Declare Function GetDosEnvironment Lib "Kernel" () As Long


' The following Declare statement must appear on one line.

Declare Function lstrcpy Lib "Kernel" (ByVal lpString1 As Any, ByVal

lpString2 As Any) As Long


'*** Form Click event code ***

Sub Form_Click()

    Dim lpStrAddress As Long,  DOSEnv$


    ' Allocate space to copy LPSTR into

    DOSEnv$ = Space$(4096)


    ' Get address of returned LPSTR into a long integer

    lpStrAddress = GetDOSEnvironment()


    ' Copy LPSTR into a Visual Basic string

    lpStrAddress = lstrcpy(DOSEnv$, lpStrAddress)



    ' Parse first entry in environment string and print

    DOSEnv$ = RTrim$(LTrim$(DOSEnv$, Len(DOSEnv$) - 1))

    Form1.Print DOSEnv$

End Sub