Provisior, one of the products we develop here at ITQ, has two components: an intranet website and a Windows service. We use the Windows service for long-running processes that you typically do not want to run inside a web server.


The Windows service is installed the first time you start the website. When it’s installed, we add a dependency to the NetLogon service. This prevents the Provisior service from starting before the NetLogon service. We did this because our service attempts to access a SQL Server database right when it starts using integrated authentication. This fails when the NetLogon service has not started yet.


All of this works fine when the machine that runs Provisior is joined to a domain. However, when that is not the case, the NetLogon service doesn’t run. You can start it, but it stops again immediately with the following error in the event log (at least on my machine):


This computer is configured as a member of a workgroup, not as a member of a domain. The Netlogon service does not need to run in this configuration.


So now I have a Windows service with a dependency on NetLogon that doesn’t run. How to fix this? Apparently, removing service dependencies is only possible from the Windows registry. You need to go to the following registry entry: HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetservices<service>. There you find a REG_MULTI_SZ key named DependOnService where you can remove any services your service depends on. After doing so I had to reboot my machine because the service control manager did not see my update.


I could have updated Provisior to install the NetLogon dependency only when the machine is joined to the domain (here is some info on detecting whether your machine is joined to a domain). However, Provisior is hardly ever run on a machine that is not joined to a domain. This only happens in testing scenario’s so I’d be changing code just for this very specific case.

Ronald Wildenberg

Author Ronald Wildenberg

Coming from an Artificial Intelligence background, turned developer after graduating. Interested in the tiny programming language details that make your life simpler but also in high-level designs that solve business problems in the most efficient way. And everything in between of course.

More posts by Ronald Wildenberg
18 August 2011