I'm attempting to put together a batch file that will set up a robocopy task as a service in response to user input. The basic idea being that the user will input MyRobocopyBatchFile.bat sourceFolder destinationMachine and from then on the contents of the folder mirrored with a known folder on the destinationMachine. Service will be set to start automatically so it will run at startup. For this I've taken queues from this question

The target environment for this is WindowsServer 2008 R2

My intention for how to do this is

set destination=\\%2\RunSheets
set source=%~dp0%1
echo Setting source to %source%
echo Setting destination to %destination%
set serviceName=RunSheetCopy%2

sc create %serviceName% binPath= "c:\Windows\System32\robocopy.exe %source% %destination% /MIR /MON:1 /v /log:C:\Logs\RoboCopy\%serviceName%.log /LEV:1" start= auto DisplayName= %serviceName% 

sc start %serviceName%

with user input something like:

MyRobocopyBatchFile.bat .\RunSheets

The problem that I am facing is that when the batch file gets to starting the service it gives me an error message. The same error message occurs when starting with NetStart or via the services window. The error message is:

 [SC] StartService FAILED 1053:

 The service did not respond to the start or control request in a
 timely fashion.

Despite the error message robocopy is syncing the directories but it does not continue in monitor mode.

If any help with how to get robocopy running as a service would be greatly appreciated.

N.B. The product manager is very keen on the idea of a service.

UPDATE: Since there was no way to do this in a mechanism that would make the PM happy (SrvAny, being legacy was not an option), I ended up going with hacking together a service wrapper for RoboCopy, Its not the solution that I would have liked but it will do the job.

  • 2
    This is kludgy. I'd look into creating a DFS replicated file share and having your users save their files there. – Ryan Ries Apr 7 '14 at 17:26
  • It is kludgy, unfortunately the requirements of the project, and the problem that the solution is trying to solve, dictate the solution here to a certain extent. – Klee Apr 8 '14 at 5:01

I have been able to setup such a thing a few year ago...but cannot remember how ! So i have powered back on my old VM to check.

I have used the srvany.exe utility that comes with the Windows 2003 ressource kit.

This utility is not really supported on recent version of Windows but works on Windows 2008 R2.

From the previous link, note this important point :

Note however that SC is NOT a replacement for SRVANY! SC will help you create/install a service, but it will not allow you to run a regular, non-service executable as a Windows Service like srvany.exe will.

This is why you get your error message. The Robocopy command is executed when the service starts, but then it crashes because it is not designed to run as a Windows Service.

  1. Download and install rktools.exe on your workstation, and then copy only the needed file srvany.exe somewhere on your server (let's say c:\Tools).

  2. Then create the Windows Service for srvany :

    sc create Robocopy-Service binPath= "C:\Tools\srvany.exe" start= auto
  3. Open the registry and go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Robocopy-Service

  4. Create a new key called Parameters

  5. Under that new key, create 3 new String Values :

    • AppDirectory : c:\windows\system32
    • Application : c:\windows\system32\robocopy.exe
    • AppParameters : c:\source c:\dest /MIR /MON:1

Finally start the service named Robocopy-Service and everything should work fine.

Now, from here, you can still automate things in a Batch file, but you will have to use reg.exe (or regedit.exe) to manipulate Registry settings.

I've also found, in my bookmarks, the original link that helped me : https://plus.google.com/112485889729268615636/posts/bH8rSDo5ocC

  • I'm a bit loathe to give advise because I don't really think what the OP is looking for is a good solution, but with that caveat in mind, I'd argue that NSSM (nssm.cc) is a lot better service manager than the old SRVANY for the OP's needs. NSSM has a much richer feature set and is being actively maintained. – Evan Anderson Apr 7 '14 at 22:58
  • 1
    I was also confused when i read the question and wrote my answer. But well, finally i've decided to only answer the question, but keeping in mind to avoid as mush as possible the use of third party software (at least non Microsoft third party software). AlwaysUp (non-free) could also be an alternative. @Ryan Ries is also right about DFSR. – krisFR Apr 7 '14 at 23:12

Old post, new answers For $49.95, this should do it. Working to run Onedrive business as a service. http://www.coretechnologies.com/products/AlwaysUp/

Here is another candidate (free) to roll-your-own: http://www.rozanski.org.uk/services

SVC.EXE Synopsis. SVC.EXE is a simple Windows NT command-line program to manage NT services. Services can be listed, and individual services can be displayed, installed, modified or removed. It includes facilities to define service dependencies. The program prompts for all needed information from stdin. For most prompts, typing ? will display a help message.

WARNING - YOU ARE ADVISED TO BACK UP YOUR REGISTRY BEFORE RUNNING THIS PROGRAM. (Although I have never encountered any problems while using it.)

Please note that SVC.EXE is unrelated to the Madfinder spyware program of the same name. Click here for more information.


Synopsis. SRVSTART.EXE is a Win32 executable and DLL which allows you to run commands as if they were Windows NT services. It also has some features to enhance the running of ordinary console commands (prompting for parameters etc). The DLL can be used on its own to build a service without having to write any service management code.

SRVSTART.EXE operates in one of two modes.

It can be used to run an ordinary command (executable program batch file). In this command mode, SRVSTART.EXE can prompt the user for the values of command-line parameters such as passwords.
It can be used to run an executable program in the context of a Windows NT service (service mode). SRVSTART.EXE will itself handle all of the interactions with the NT Service Control Manager (SCM). It is not necessary for the program to include any service management code. 

SrvStart Awards

SRVSTART.EXE was originally given a top Five-Star Editor's Choice rating by ZDNet Downloads. Unfortunately, since Ziff-Davis decided to charge software developers - even freeware developers like me - a fee to be listed, my software no longer features on their sites.

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