Create a user-defined service

This article provides the steps to create a Windows NT user-defined service.

Applies to:   Windows 10 - all editions
Original KB number:   137890


This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information on how to do this, view the Restoring the Registry or the Restoring a Registry Key online Help topics in Registry Editor.


The Windows NT Resource Kit provides two utilities that allow you to create a Windows NT user-defined service for Windows NT applications and some 16-bit applications, but not for batch files.

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

Steps to create a user-defined service

To create a Windows NT user-defined service, follow these steps:

  1. At an 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 (for example, C:\RESKIT) and My Service is the name of the service you're creating.

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


    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).


    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 following online Help topics in Registry Editor:

    • Changing Keys And Values
    • Add and Delete Information in the Registry
    • Edit Registry Data


    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, select Add Key. Type the following entries, and select OK:

    • Key Name: Parameters
    • Class: <leave blank>
  4. Select the Parameters key.

  5. From the Edit menu, select Add Value. Type the following entries, and select 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 (for example, C:\WinNT\Notepad.exe)

  6. Close Registry Editor.

By default, a newly created service is configured to run automatically when the system is restarted. To change this setting to Manual, run the Services applet from Control Panel. Then 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 an MS-DOS command prompt, type the following command:

    NET START <My Service>
  • Use the Sc.exe utility from the Resource Kit. Type the following command from an MS-DOS command prompt:

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

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

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

Data collection

If you need assistance from Microsoft support, we recommend you collect the information by following the steps mentioned in Gather information by using TSS for deployment-related issues.