CreateServiceA function

Creates a service object and adds it to the specified service control manager database.

Syntax

SC_HANDLE CreateServiceA(
  SC_HANDLE hSCManager,
  LPCSTR    lpServiceName,
  LPCSTR    lpDisplayName,
  DWORD     dwDesiredAccess,
  DWORD     dwServiceType,
  DWORD     dwStartType,
  DWORD     dwErrorControl,
  LPCSTR    lpBinaryPathName,
  LPCSTR    lpLoadOrderGroup,
  LPDWORD   lpdwTagId,
  LPCSTR    lpDependencies,
  LPCSTR    lpServiceStartName,
  LPCSTR    lpPassword
);

Parameters

hSCManager

A handle to the service control manager database. This handle is returned by the OpenSCManager function and must have the SC_MANAGER_CREATE_SERVICE access right. For more information, see Service Security and Access Rights.

lpServiceName

The name of the service to install. The maximum string length is 256 characters. The service control manager database preserves the case of the characters, but service name comparisons are always case insensitive. Forward-slash (/) and backslash () are not valid service name characters.

lpDisplayName

The display name to be used by user interface programs to identify the service. This string has a maximum length of 256 characters. The name is case-preserved in the service control manager. Display name comparisons are always case-insensitive.

dwDesiredAccess

The access to the service. Before granting the requested access, the system checks the access token of the calling process. For a list of values, see Service Security and Access Rights.

dwServiceType

The service type. This parameter can be one of the following values.

Value Meaning
SERVICE_ADAPTER
0x00000004
Reserved.
SERVICE_FILE_SYSTEM_DRIVER
0x00000002
File system driver service.
SERVICE_KERNEL_DRIVER
0x00000001
Driver service.
SERVICE_RECOGNIZER_DRIVER
0x00000008
Reserved.
SERVICE_WIN32_OWN_PROCESS
0x00000010
Service that runs in its own process.
SERVICE_WIN32_SHARE_PROCESS
0x00000020
Service that shares a process with one or more other services. For more information, see Service Programs.
SERVICE_USER_OWN_PROCESS
0x00000050
The service runs in its own process under the logged-on user account.
SERVICE_USER_SHARE_PROCESS
0x00000060
The service shares a process with one or more other services that run under the logged-on user account.
 

If you specify either SERVICE_WIN32_OWN_PROCESS or SERVICE_WIN32_SHARE_PROCESS, and the service is running in the context of the LocalSystem account, you can also specify the following value.

Value Meaning
SERVICE_INTERACTIVE_PROCESS
0x00000100
The service can interact with the desktop.

For more information, see Interactive Services.

dwStartType

The service start options. This parameter can be one of the following values.

Value Meaning
SERVICE_AUTO_START
0x00000002
A service started automatically by the service control manager during system startup. For more information, see Automatically Starting Services.
SERVICE_BOOT_START
0x00000000
A device driver started by the system loader. This value is valid only for driver services.
SERVICE_DEMAND_START
0x00000003
A service started by the service control manager when a process calls the StartService function. For more information, see Starting Services on Demand.
SERVICE_DISABLED
0x00000004
A service that cannot be started. Attempts to start the service result in the error code ERROR_SERVICE_DISABLED.
SERVICE_SYSTEM_START
0x00000001
A device driver started by the IoInitSystem function. This value is valid only for driver services.

dwErrorControl

The severity of the error, and action taken, if this service fails to start. This parameter can be one of the following values.

Value Meaning
SERVICE_ERROR_CRITICAL
0x00000003
The startup program logs the error in the event log, if possible. If the last-known-good configuration is being started, the startup operation fails. Otherwise, the system is restarted with the last-known good configuration.
SERVICE_ERROR_IGNORE
0x00000000
The startup program ignores the error and continues the startup operation.
SERVICE_ERROR_NORMAL
0x00000001
The startup program logs the error in the event log but continues the startup operation.
SERVICE_ERROR_SEVERE
0x00000002
The startup program logs the error in the event log. If the last-known-good configuration is being started, the startup operation continues. Otherwise, the system is restarted with the last-known-good configuration.

lpBinaryPathName

The fully qualified path to the service binary file. If the path contains a space, it must be quoted so that it is correctly interpreted. For example, "d:\my share\myservice.exe" should be specified as ""d:\my share\myservice.exe"".

The path can also include arguments for an auto-start service. For example, "d:\myshare\myservice.exe arg1 arg2". These arguments are passed to the service entry point (typically the main function).

If you specify a path on another computer, the share must be accessible by the computer account of the local computer because this is the security context used in the remote call. However, this requirement allows any potential vulnerabilities in the remote computer to affect the local computer. Therefore, it is best to use a local file.

lpLoadOrderGroup

The names of the load ordering group of which this service is a member. Specify NULL or an empty string if the service does not belong to a group.

The startup program uses load ordering groups to load groups of services in a specified order with respect to the other groups. The list of load ordering groups is contained in the following registry value: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control<b>ServiceGroupOrder

lpdwTagId

A pointer to a variable that receives a tag value that is unique in the group specified in the lpLoadOrderGroup parameter. Specify NULL if you are not changing the existing tag.

You can use a tag for ordering service startup within a load ordering group by specifying a tag order vector in the following registry value:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control<b>GroupOrderList

Tags are only evaluated for driver services that have SERVICE_BOOT_START or SERVICE_SYSTEM_START start types.

lpDependencies

A pointer to a double null-terminated array of null-separated names of services or load ordering groups that the system must start before this service. Specify NULL or an empty string if the service has no dependencies. Dependency on a group means that this service can run if at least one member of the group is running after an attempt to start all members of the group.

You must prefix group names with SC_GROUP_IDENTIFIER so that they can be distinguished from a service name, because services and service groups share the same name space.

lpServiceStartName

The name of the account under which the service should run. If the service type is SERVICE_WIN32_OWN_PROCESS, use an account name in the form DomainName<i>UserName. The service process will be logged on as this user. If the account belongs to the built-in domain, you can specify .<i>UserName.

If this parameter is NULL, CreateService uses the LocalSystem account. If the service type specifies SERVICE_INTERACTIVE_PROCESS, the service must run in the LocalSystem account.

If this parameter is NT AUTHORITY\LocalService, CreateService uses the LocalService account. If the parameter is NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService, CreateService uses the NetworkService account.

A shared process can run as any user.

If the service type is SERVICE_KERNEL_DRIVER or SERVICE_FILE_SYSTEM_DRIVER, the name is the driver object name that the system uses to load the device driver. Specify NULL if the driver is to use a default object name created by the I/O system.

A service can be configured to use a managed account or a virtual account. If the service is configured to use a managed service account, the name is the managed service account name. If the service is configured to use a virtual account, specify the name as NT SERVICE<i>ServiceName. For more information about managed service accounts and virtual accounts, see the Service Accounts Step-by-Step Guide.

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP:  Managed service accounts and virtual accounts are not supported until Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

lpPassword

The password to the account name specified by the lpServiceStartName parameter. Specify an empty string if the account has no password or if the service runs in the LocalService, NetworkService, or LocalSystem account. For more information, see Service Record List.

If the account name specified by the lpServiceStartName parameter is the name of a managed service account or virtual account name, the lpPassword parameter must be NULL.

Passwords are ignored for driver services.

Return Value

If the function succeeds, the return value is a handle to the service.

If the function fails, the return value is NULL. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.

The following error codes can be set by the service control manager. Other error codes can be set by the registry functions that are called by the service control manager.

Return code Description
ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED
The handle to the SCM database does not have the SC_MANAGER_CREATE_SERVICE access right.
ERROR_CIRCULAR_DEPENDENCY
A circular service dependency was specified.
ERROR_DUPLICATE_SERVICE_NAME
The display name already exists in the service control manager database either as a service name or as another display name.
ERROR_INVALID_HANDLE
The handle to the specified service control manager database is invalid.
ERROR_INVALID_NAME
The specified service name is invalid.
ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER
A parameter that was specified is invalid.
ERROR_INVALID_SERVICE_ACCOUNT
The user account name specified in the lpServiceStartName parameter does not exist.
ERROR_SERVICE_EXISTS
The specified service already exists in this database.
ERROR_SERVICE_MARKED_FOR_DELETE
The specified service already exists in this database and has been marked for deletion.

Remarks

The CreateService function creates a service object and installs it in the service control manager database by creating a key with the same name as the service under the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services

Information specified by CreateService, ChangeServiceConfig, and ChangeServiceConfig2 is saved as values under this key. The following are examples of values stored for a service.

Value Description
DependOnGroup Load-ordering groups on which this service depends, as specified by lpDependencies.
DependOnService Services on which this service depends, as specified by lpDependencies.
Description Description specified by ChangeServiceConfig2.
DisplayName Display name specified by lpDisplayName.
ErrorControl Error control specified by dwErrorControl.
FailureActions Failure actions specified by ChangeServiceConfig2.
Group Load ordering group specified by lpLoadOrderGroup. Note that setting this value can override the setting of the DependOnService value.
ImagePath Name of binary file, as specified by lpBinaryPathName.
ObjectName Account name specified by lpServiceStartName.
Start When to start service, as specified by dwStartType.
Tag Tag identifier specified by lpdwTagId.
Type Service type specified by dwServiceType.
 

Setup programs and the service itself can create additional subkeys for service-specific information.

The returned handle is only valid for the process that called CreateService. It can be closed by calling the CloseServiceHandle function.

If you are creating services that share a process, avoid calling functions with process-wide effects, such as ExitProcess. In addition, do not unload your service DLL.

Examples

For an example, see Installing a Service.

Requirements

   
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header winsvc.h (include Windows.h)
Library Advapi32.lib
DLL Advapi32.dll

See Also

ChangeServiceConfig

ChangeServiceConfig2

CloseServiceHandle

ControlService

DeleteService

EnumDependentServices

OpenSCManager

QueryServiceConfig

QueryServiceDynamicInformation

QueryServiceObjectSecurity

QueryServiceStatusEx

Service Accounts Step-by-Step Guide

Service Functions

Service Installation, Removal, and Enumeration

SetServiceObjectSecurity

StartService