Problem running Python 3.5.2 on school network PC

Tim Golden mail at
Thu Dec 15 13:34:21 EST 2016

On 15/12/2016 16:11, Jed Mack wrote:
> We are having a problem running Python 3.5.2 on Windows 10 x64 computers,
> which are members of a school network.
> The program seems to install correctly, but when we try to run the program
> it stops and give an error message saying:
> *Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: unable to load the file system codec*
> *Traceback (most recent call last):*
> *  File "C:\Program Files\Python35\lib\encodings\", line 31, in<
> module>*
> *zipimport.ZipImportError: can't find module 'codecs'*
> On a Windows 7 PCs, on the same network, the program runs with no problems.
> We have no one here who is familiar with Python.  Do you have any
> additional information on this error, and suggestions for fixing it?
> We have a teacher who needs this program on Windows 10 PCs for students to
> use beginning January 3.

This most often seems to happen when there is another instance of Python 
installed (or, possibly, previously installed and partly uninstalled). 
Especially: look for environment variables which could be left over from 
such an installation, particularly PYTHONHOME.

NB it's possible for Python to have been installed as part of some OEM 
software, ie not as part of your school's own installation protocol.


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