How to publish a Windows Application as a service

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Joined: 16/08/2008
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In order to publish a Windows Application as a service, Microsoft has provided two utilities as part of the Windows Resoruce Kit.

  • Instrsrv.exe - installs and removes system services from Windows NT
  • Srvany.exe - allows any Windows NT application to run as a service.

To create a Windows NT user-defined service, perform the following steps:

1. At a MS-DOS command prompt(running CMD.EXE), type the following command:

path\INSTSRV.EXE My Service path\SRVANY.EXE

where path is the drive and directory of the Windows NT Resource Kit (i.e., C:\RESKIT) and My Service is the name of the service you are creating.


C:\Program Files\Resource Kit\Instsrv.exe Notepad C:\Program Files\Resource Kit\Srvany.exe

NOTE: To verify that the service was created correctly, check the registry to verify that the ImagePath value under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\service name is set to point to SRVANY.EXE. If this is not set correctly, the service will stop shortly after it starts and return an Event ID 7000 "The service name failed to start."

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" online Help topic or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" online Help topics in Registry Editor.

NOTE: You should back up the registry before you edit it.

2. Run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe)and locate the following subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<My Service>

3. From the Edit menu, click Add Key. Type the following and click OK:

Key Name: Parameters
Class : <leave blank>

4. Select the Parameters key.

5. From the Edit menu, click Add Value. Type the following and click OK:

Value Name: Application
Data Type : REG_SZ
String : <path>\<application.ext>

where <path>\<application.ext> is the drive and full path to the application executable including the extension (i.e., C:\WinNT\Notepad.exe)

6. Close Registry Editor.

By default, a newly created service it configured to run Automatically when the system is restarted. To change this setting to Manual, run the Services applet from Control Panel and change the Startup value to Manual. A service set to Manual can be started in one of several ways:

- From the Services applet in Control Panel

- From a MS-DOS command prompt, type the following:

NET START <My Service>

- Use the Sc.exe utility from the Resource Kit. Type the following from a MS-DOS command prompt:

<path>\Sc.exe start <My Service>

where <path> is the drive and directory of the Windows NT Resource Kit (i.e., C:\Reskit).

For more information on installing and removing a user-defined service, please see the Srvany.wri document provided with the Windows NT Resource Kit utilities (i.e., C:\Reskit\Srvany.wri). This document can also be found on the Windows NT Resource Kit CD in the Common\Config directory.

Further information is available in the Microsoft Knowledgebase article linked below.

MS Knowledgebase Article:



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