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How do I find out what files are needed by a specific Windows service?

Posted on 2003-10-23
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a working XP Pro computer and a non-working XP Pro computer.  The computer that is currently "broken" does not work because the service Plug and Play is not running and cannot be started.  Initially, the file services.exe was missing and got restored by running sfc /scannow, but Windows still say that there is something missing in order to start the service.

Because of this problem, I would like to use my working XP computer to gather the filenames I require in order to find out which file or files are missing in the other computer.

Also, if you know of a way of extracting OS files from the cabs, let me know.  Thanks!

P. S.:  If I am being unclear, please let me know so I can clarify.
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Question by:webJose
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9606404
Webjose,

Has the broken computer worked recently .. If yes , try to restore to a previous state and see if that would help

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/itpro/managing/restore.asp

have you tried reinstalling

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1202609,00.asp

Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 9606408
Try enabling the service

http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/1131/

Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 9606448
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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9606457
Sunray:

I have tried last known good configuration to no avail and System Restore is out of the question because there are no restore points.  HDD was brand new and worked only for a few hours.

As for trying to enable the service, I cannot.  I cannot even pop up the service properties because I get the error saying there are files missing.

Any other suggestion?
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Accepted Solution

by:
AlexJ earned 300 total points
ID: 9606469

U can expand the OS file from

Start->Run->Msconfig
Click EXPAND File

Type the name of the file to restore
From: Type the location of setup files (<CD>\i386) e.g. E:\i386
Save File in: c:\windows\system32


Alex
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by:webJose
ID: 9606566
AlexJ:

You got part of the points.  Thank you very much for that information.  I have used msconfig a lot and I swear I never saw that button there before.

Again, many thanks.

Sunray:

I will take a look at the last URL you posted.
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9606933


can u specify What is that something missing.

Windows generally say what is required to continue.


More info is needed

Alex

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by:webJose
ID: 9607162
Well, I cannot contact the customer right now, but if I remember correctly, the error states that a component is missing.  I am sure it is not giving the component's name or description.

Sunray:

The last link you gave me was informative, but cannot solve the problem.  The zip files for the accepted answer are blank when I download them, and the sfc /scannow fix indeed restored services.exe (was missing and I did it before posting, that was my last chance), but problem persists.  I have pending the test of the registry entry fix, but I am not too confident about it because its removal also removes the service name from Services, and the customer sees the service listed there.

This is why I want to know what files exactly the service uses, so I can check the user's HDD.  Any other suggestions?  BTW, I am very thankful for your comments.  Just because they aren't solving my problem it does not mean I don't appreciate them. :-)
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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 9607646
Services may fail to launch if the dependencies fail. The best option is to reset the services configuration to defaults using the "Blackviper" services configuration file:

XP Home:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Files/DefaultHomeAll.zip

Professional:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Files/DefaultProAll.zip

More Info:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/registry.htm

I always have a backup of the services configuration in my system.
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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9608043
Thanks sramesh2k, but according to my working XP Pro computer, the Plug and Play service does not depend on any other service.

I insist that there may be a corrupt/missing file that services.exe depend on.  How to know?  That's my question.
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9608093

Webjose,

is PLUG N PLAY service listed there as STOPPED
OR

Is it not listed there at all???


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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 9608232
The only way to know why a service failed, is to inspect the event logs.
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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9608280
AlexJ:

The service is listed as stopped, but when double-clicking it, the error appears.

sramesh2k:

Where were you when I needed that advise!!??  I must be getting dumber by the day.  I'll check the Event viewer to see if I can get more information.
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by:sramesh2k
ID: 9608306
Go ahead and check the "system" logs.

For easier tracking, clear all the logs (backup to a file when prompted) and restart windows.
Again, open eventvwr.exe and check the log (match the date/time when the service failure occurred)
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by:AlexJ
ID: 9608406

webjose,

Plz try this to restart the service from the registry, if u not able to open the service properties.

1. Start->Run->Regedit

2. Go to the registry key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\plugplay

3. Look on the right side. Click Start type.   On a regular XP install, it is set to 3.  
   
4. RightClick on start Type and Click Modify

5. Enter 3 as value data. Hit OK

6. Reboot



All the best

Alex

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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9608414
I just called the customer and tried to see the Event Viewer, but to my disgrace, it was empty.

Also, user had the registry settings OK for HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PlugPlay.

Anything else I could try?
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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9608439
AlexJ:

The start type is 3, but the service does not start.  Also, the event viewer is not logging anything.

I have already ordered a new HDD for the user, but I still keep on thinking it cannot be that hopeless!

And FYI, the OS is a modified version of XP called SEWP5, but I don't think such core components as services.exe are too different from standard XP Pro.  They are probably the exact same thing.
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9608457

Webjose,

But still plugplay service has a problem....which means registry settings are not well.

Try exporting the whole PlugPlay folder from the registry from a good working another computer
and Import it to this problem computer.

Yes to overwrite the information.


Alex
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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 9608593
as said by alex, import the plugplay key from another computer. Or download the blackviper services configuration file as said above.

XP Home:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Files/DefaultHomeAll.zip

Professional:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Files/DefaultProAll.zip

More Info:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/registry.htm
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9612784

Webjose,

Did any suggestion work for U??
Plz post ur feedback asap

Experts are anxious to help U, if problem still persists


Regds

Alex
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9614831


webjose,

ur feedback is awaited.

Alex
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Author Comment

by:webJose
ID: 9617445
Hello everyone.

First of all, thanks for your replies.  They were highly informative.

Unfortunately, the answers did not help me.  I did everything you proposed that could be done, but nothing worked.  Let me summarize.

-I tried to check the Event Viewer, but it was empty!  The customer does not know how to empty it because, well, it is an end user and Control Panel is an obscure thing to him.  Therefore, my conclusion is that the computer was not logging anything, and I don't really know why.
-I could not attempt reinstallation because it is not regular Windows XP and can only be installed/reinstalled from the LAN (user was @ home using high speed and virtual private network) because there is no CD for installation; installation is done through installation servers over the network.
-I compared every setting in the registry for the service PlugPlay, but they were identical to my settings (my computer is the working XP computer I mentioned).  Unless you think the registry can be corrupted and still show correct values, I don't think the registry fixes you suggested would make any difference.
-I could not try to start the service from the registry because it was already showing the correct start value for automatic startup.  The service just would not start.  And this is logical because the file services.exe was missing!  After restoring the file, the service did not start.

So, summarizing, I had to send a new HDD.  That took care of the problem, but the bottom line is I think there were more files missing than services.exe.  This is why this discussion thread asks for a method of finding all dependant files for a specific service.

AlexJ:  Because you showed me how to extract a file from the installation cabs, I am willing to accept your answer with a B grade and for 300 points.  Please let me know if this is acceptable.

Experts:  Thank you in advance for your help.  I will not hesitate in asking you again any time.  Please post any comment you might feel is appropriate.
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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9632743

Webjose,

Sorry for replying late. Actually I was off to holiday this weekend.
After reading ur feedback, came to know U finally got a resolution by sending HDD.

You can award me the said points if You really think I showed U how to do it and its worthwhile.
Experts do work for points becoz it maintains the fun in working. But our(All Experts) main objective is always to see weather problem is resolved with any of the suggestions and Asker is happy and satisfied.

Good wishes
Alex

PS. Come back here whenever u need more help

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Expert Comment

by:AlexJ
ID: 9657353

Webjose,

U have not closed the question yet.
Just reminding U!!!!


:>)

Alex
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by:AlexJ
ID: 9668817

Thank U webjose, come back again when need us.

:>)
Alex
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