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Had a client application fail and when I checked the server processes I noticed that one of the critical application services was not running.

Went into the services control panel and found that the service was stopped and when I tried to start it I received the following error message:

Error 1058 The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

I was eventually able to decode the error message and realize that there were hardware profiles assigned to specific services that COULD be enabled/disabled but now I have no idea how this setting would have gotten changed.

Hardware Profile Disabled???

Does anyone know of any windows processes that might do something like this in the event of some kind of problem with AD, User Accounts, GPO or anything like that?

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Hardware profiles are basically HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG hive, which are pointers to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current (src).

If service is disabled in some hardware profile, it won't be enabled when this hardware profile is active.

This is useful when you have multiple hardware profiles, and don't want some services in some of them, without manually switching them on/off or starting/stopping.

Here is info about hardware profiles on microsoft.com

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