Can it run as a service ?

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Can it run as a service ?



For years Microsoft has discouraged service applications that interact with the desktop.  This discouragement has turned into down right taboo in the latest versions of Windows.


The fax server software cannot be run as a service.


It will not become fully functional and able to send and receive faxes until a logon occurs.  Similarly, it will not survive a logoff.


We are going to offer you an alternative way to accomplish the same thing, providing both an immediate functional environment for the fax server and the security offered by a service that runs without the necessity of a logon.


A few easy steps is all it takes, summarized here and discussed in detail below.


1. Create a new user account in Windows from within which the fax server software will run

2. Configure Windows so that this account will be automatically logged on at system startup

3. Install the fax server software, configure your settings and enable the 'auto start when windows starts' option

4. Provide a protection mechanism that will lock the user account at startup requiring password access




Step 1  Create a new user account in Windows


Create a new user account in Windows using Control Panel->User Accounts.  Call this account anything you want, you might opt for something like 'Fax' or 'Fax Server'.  Create this account with a password.



Step 2  Configure Windows so that this account is logged on automatically at startup


The following steps are specific for Windows 7 but the process is the same for Windows Vista and Windows XP:


Click the Start button on the task bar

In the run box type in netplwiz


The following Window will appear (follow the instructions in the callouts on the screenshot below):





After you click Apply, you will be presented with a password dialog for the user account.  Enter the password you have previously established when creating this Windows user account.


Step 3  Install the fax server in this user account


Switch to this user account and install the fax server software and complete all modem and settings configuration.  In the general settings section, make sure that you have CHECKED the 'auto start when windows' starts option.



Step 4  Create a Protection Mechanism


What we will do here is create a shortcut and put it in the Startup folder so that it runs at startup.  Note that the fax server also runs at startup, so what will happen is that when the auto logon occurs, the fax server will be started and the protection shortcut will also be started which will lock the user account at the password prompt requiring password entry for access.


Here's how to create the shortcut...


1.  Right click on the desktop in this new user account and select 'New->Shortcut' from the popup menu

2.  In the edit box captioned 'Type the location of the item:' type in the following line:


rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation


Type it in exactly as above observing the case for LockWorkStation


3.  click the Next button

4.  Enter a name for the shortcut, you might opt for something like 'Lock Workstation'  

5.  Click Finish


You will see the shortcut on your desktop.


Now, use Windows Explorer and navigate to:


c:\users\FAX\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup


Note: if you named your user account something other than fax then substitute that for FAX in the above line.


Drag the shortcut from the desktop into this folder


If you do not see the AppData folder in Windows Explorer then you will need to go to control panel->folder options

and on the View tab, check the 'show hidden files, folders and drives' radio button.  


You are done !


Now when you restart your computer, the FAX (in our example) user account will be automatically logged on, the fax server software started, the user account will then be locked at the password prompt.