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Service Fails to Start at Boot, But Starts Manually

This article is intended for a technical audience.

A service set to Automatic startup may fail to start when the system is booted, but will start correctly when started manually later.

This may occur if the service takes a relatively long time to start, and the system is sluggish at boot due to the increased (albeit normal) startup activity. Once the system has fully booted, the service starts normally when invoked manually because the system is not so busy.

This occurs because Windows will terminate a service which has not notified it that it has started within a certain period.

This may be worked around by lengthening the timeout Windows uses before terminating a slow-starting service.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt and type:

    reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control /v ServicesPipeTimeout /d 60000 /t REG_DWORD /f

    (In this example, “60000” is 60 seconds. Increase as required.)

  2. Reboot for the change to take effect.

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