Running SETI as a Service on Windows NT/2K/XP



Running SetiDriver as a service has a number of distinct advantages for the serious Seti Cruncher. Firstly, because services may be started automatically during the boot procedure, SetiDriver may be started at boot time even if no user logs on. In addition, SetiDriver will continue to run when a user logs off but the system is not shut down thus making this method ideal for multi-user systems. Second, running SetiDriver as a service can minimize your downtime in the event of system failure by automatically restarting the service in the event of a system reboot. Third, running SetiDriver as a service provides an effective way of "hiding" Seti from users especially if you get a little creative in renaming SetiDriver and the Seti client. These two processes will, however, still show up in the processes listing in Task Manager.

The Windows NT Resource Kit provides two utilities, instrsrv.exe and srvany.exe, that allow users to install and run an application as a system service. Instrsrv.exe allows users to install and remove services from Windows and srvany.exe allows most (but not all) Windows applications to run as a service. Using these two utilities we can install SETIDriver as a user-defined service under Windows.


First ensure you have a working installation of the SETI command line client and SetiDriver. For this example I have renamed these to Seti.exe and SetiDriver.exe, respectively, and both are installed in the c:\seti directory. If your setup is different, simply adapt the following to suit your setup. Remember to set your Cache to the desired level, check the Auto Transmit check-box, select Low Priority, and enter any relevant Proxy details as required.


instsrv.exe SetiDriver c:\seti\srvany.exe


The service may be removed by typing: "instsrv.exe SetiDriver remove" (no quotes)





To start the service immediately, highlight SETIDriver and click Start. Now right-click the task bar and start Task Manager and select the Processes tab. You should see SetiDriver.exe and Seti.exe listed as running processes.

Although SetiDriver is running the icon is no longer visible in the System Tray.


Clicking Stop in the Services Control Panel will stop SetiDriver but will not stop the SETI command line client as the client is a spawned child process of the SetiDriver service and not a service in it's own right. You can stop the service and the client by setting the Startup type to Manual, clicking Apply and then rebooting.

Next open the System Control Panel. Select the Advanced tab and click Startup and Recovery. Check the Automatically reboot option in the System Failure section. This will ensure that the system will restart in the event of a system failure thus restarting the SetiDriver service.



As SetiDriver is hidden when running as a service, you no longer have the ability to view the SetiDriver status bar for monitoring the progress of your current work unit. So now is the time to check out some third party add-ons for monitoring SETI. Everyone has their own favorites, personally I like SETIWatch and SETI Spy.


The following Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles contain information on running Services for Windows:;EN-US;q137890;EN-US;q193238