services - when do they get started (at boot)

Posted on 2011-10-01
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
do the services get started at the login screen, or after complete start.

for example, in vista, the user is prompted after the boot, are the services running at that time? or only after they login into windows, is the services actually getting loaded?

this is the same for all services? or are there exceptions?
Question by:25112
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Anthony Russo
    I suggest installing Soluto on your machine. Very good program and shows you when everything boots up, and lets you control them.

    Good luck,

    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    They get started at many different times.  Basic services to run the machine get started at boot.  Services that depend on the user profile for information have to wait until someone is logged on.  And others only start when they are needed.
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    This is the (simplified) boot sequence for Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003:
    Source: Windows Boot process.

    BIOS: performs Power On Self Test (POST)
    BIOS: loads MBR from the boot device specified/selected by the BIOS

    MBR: contains a small amount of code that reads the partition table, the first partition marked as active is determined to be the system volume
    MBR: loads the boot sector from the system volume

    BOOT SECTOR: reads the root directory of the system volume at loads NTLDR

    NTLDR: reads BOOT.INI from the system volume to determine the boot drive (presenting a menu if more than 1 entry is defined)
    NTLDR: loads and executes NTDETECT.COM from the system volume to perform BIOS hardware detection
    NTLDR: loads NTOSKRNL.EXE, HAL.DLL, BOOTVID.DLL (and KDCOM.DLL for XP upwards) from the boot (Windows) volume
    NTLDR: loads \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM which becomes the system hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System
    NTLDR: loads drivers flagged as "boot" defined in the system hive, then passes control to NTOSKRNL.EXE

    NTOSKRNL.EXE: brings up the loading splash screen and initializes the kernel subsystem
    NTOSKRNL.EXE: starts the boot-start drivers and then loads & starts the system-start drivers
    NTOSKRNL.EXE: creates the Session Manager process (SMSS.EXE)

    SMSS.EXE: runs any programs specified in BootExecute (e.g. AUTOCHK, the native API version of CHKDSK)
    SMSS.EXE: processes any delayed move/rename operations from hotfixes/service packs replacing in-use system files
    SMSS.EXE: initializes the paging file(s) and the remaining registry hives

    ** before this step completes, bugchecks will not result in a memory dump as we need a working page file on the boot (Windows) volume **

    SMSS.EXE: starts the kernel-mode portion of the Win32 subsystem (WIN32K.SYS)
    SMSS.EXE: starts the user-mode portion of the Win32 subsystem (CSRSS.EXE)

    WINLOGON.EXE: starts the Local Security Authority (LSASS.EXE)
    WINLOGON.EXE: loads the Graphical User Identification and Authentication DLL (MSGINA.DLL by default)
    WINLOGON.EXE: displays the logon window
    WINLOGON.EXE: starts the services controller (SERVICES.EXE)

    *** At This Point Users Can Logon  ***

    SERVICES.EXE: starts all services marks as automatic

    Or check here for Windows Vista startup process
    LVL 5

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