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Visual Basic 6 Service and Vista: A program can't display a message on your desktop...

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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
We've a legacy Visual Basic 6.0 project that runs as a service using srvany.exe file.
It runs as a local service and some times displays a message in a window.
Recently we wanted to use this program in Windows Vista, every thing works well, except the displaying forms.

"A program can't display a message on your desktop" appears and when clicking "Show me the message" button, the app's window in displayed.

As I searched for this problem, this is described as below:
You have a service, or an app running as one, that is trying to pop-up a window from the SYSTEM (session 0) desktop to your logged-on
session. By default, this is NOT allowed anymore - it worked in XP/2003/downlevel OSes because in those OSes, you logged into session 0, but not so anymore in Vista / Server 2008.

How can I tell my service to display a window in the current running user's desktop, not the session 0 (System)?

Or an alternative way to solve this problem?

As I said earlier, I'm using Visual Basic 6.0 and my service is being run using srvany

Any comment would be highly appreciated.
Watch Question


Can the service execute another program?
If so, you could write a simple application that displays a message from a command line or from a temporary file, and call this application from the service.


I have to test it, but if the service executes another program, that program is also executed as system, not the user, and the same problem will still exists...


No luck, still the same problem.
Can't be done. Interactive services are not allowed under Vista.

You will need to implement a TCP/IP or UDP conversation between the level 0 (system) service and a simple noddy app which MUST be executed in the context of ALL users who logon as active desktop sessions.

The noddy just needs to "listen" for the "service conversation" and on receipt, display the appropriate message on behalf of the service.

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Dear David_Ward,

Thanks for your comment.
Can you post some sample apps with a TCP/IP or UDP conversation between level 0 and a simple app?
It is just a perfectly ordinary TCP/IP or UDP conversation the fact that one side is a level 0 service and the other end is a level ?n+ app has no bearing on the matter, network data crosses those divides with no special handling.
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