How To Create a User-Defined Service under Windows 2000/2003

There are occasions when it may be useful to run an application as a Windows 2000 service. The Windows 2000 Resource Kit provides two utilities, INSTSRV.EXE and SRVANY.EXE, that allow you to establish a user-defined service.

Essential Downloads

INSTSRV.EXE - Utility to add or remove Windows 2000/2003 Services
SRVANY.EXE - Utility to allow any NT application to run as a Windows 2000/2003 service


Warning: The following text includes instructions on modifying the system registry. Use extreme caution whenever you make changes to the registry. Inadvertant modifications may cause irreparable damage to your NT system.

Make sure that you are logged on as a user with administrative privileges. Also, verify that both INSTSRV.EXE and SRVANY.EXE are stored in a directory within the search path.

  1. Open up an MS-DOS command prompt.
  2. Type the following command: INSTSRV [service name] SRVANY.EXE
    where [service name] is the name of the service you are setting up. The service name can be whatever you want, but should be descriptive.
  3. Open up the Registry Editor (Click on the Start Button, select Run, and type REGEDIT)
  4. Close the Registry Editor.

Related Pages

Microsoft Support Page: HOWTO set up a user-defined service (Article ID: Q137890)