Using a Service Under Windows

This article was contributed by Elmue.

Environment: Windows NT/2000/XP


This demo shows how to create, start, stop, and delete a service under Windows NT/2000/XP.

This program demonstrates the use of these API commands:

  • OpenSCManager()
  • CloseServiceHandle()
  • CreateService()
  • OpenService()
  • SetServiceStatus()
  • DeleteService()
  • RegisterServiceCtrlHandler()
  • StartServiceCtrlDispatcher()

Try this demo with an Administrator Account and a normal User or Guest Account! This program logs all commands it receives and executes into the logfile C:\DemoService.txt.

This program is used in two modes:

  • Service.exe (without parameters) runs the program with the GUI (see screenshot)
  • Service.exe /Service runs it as a Service (Windows calls Service.exe with the “/Service” parameter if the already installed Service is started)

In a Service, it is not possible to set a normal Timer (SetTimer()) because the service does not own a window and can’t receive Window Messages.

For demonstration, I set a waitable timer that writes every five seconds to the log file, even when no user is logged on.


Download demo project – 10 Kb

Download source – 15 Kb

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