Windows

Delayed Start feature increases options for Windows services

Windows Server 2008 now offers a Delayed Start option for Windows services. Rick Vanover outlines how to use this convenient feature.

All admins have had server startup tasks that were very sequence driven. My most frequent offender was any service that needed a database to connect to on the same server. While we could get crafty with scripts or running applications outside of the Windows service environment (yuck!), we now have a built-in option for Windows Servers to introduce a second tier of automatic startup.

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 have the Automatic (Delayed Start) option for service startup. For my example of an application that needs a database available for correct operation, this can make the sequencing easier. If the database server is configured for the traditional automatic startup, the application would be configured for the new delayed start configuration.

The Delayed Start configuration operates to ease the strain of the boot process; it can also be a boon to administrators who wish to configure applications for tiered startup for sequencing control. The Delayed Start is configured for a service in a familiar fashion. Figure A shows a service configured for Delayed Start. Figure A

Besides the interface, you can configure services for delayed automatic startup in the registry with use of the DelayedAutoStart Dword Key. This doesn't enforce that all of the standard automatic services are running, simply that the delayed startup services will be sent a much lower priority.

This TechNet blog outlines how to configure Delayed Start for Windows-based services.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes.

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About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

4 comments
dpalmerston
dpalmerston

What about also using Dependencies? Set your application service to be Dependent upon the database service starting up? These have also been available for ages and works better for me than simply using a timer.

jacques.forster
jacques.forster

Since NT4 times I use a simple trick (automatic start of a script, and that script uses NET START commands embedded within SLEEP commands) to delay start services at boot. It's a must on workstations (it provides a more responsive machine early on in the boot process), and sometimes usefull on servers. Still waiting that MS supports the "multi-level" concept found in Unix/Linux (INIT levels)... Jacques

blarman
blarman

Dependencies are a much better method than guessing based on time.

ffulton
ffulton

Years ago I created a service that started other services based on an "ini" file and could control the order and delay time between them. The new Delayed started does not allow for this.

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