Stop and Start a service via batch or cmd file? – Dev

The best answers to the question “Stop and Start a service via batch or cmd file?” in the category Dev.


How can I script a bat or cmd to stop and start a service reliably with error checking (or let me know that it wasn’t successful for whatever reason)?


net start [serviceName]


net stop [serviceName]

tell you whether they have succeeded or failed pretty clearly. For example

U:\>net stop alerter
The Alerter service is not started.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 3521.

If running from a batch file, you have access to the ERRORLEVEL of the return code. 0 indicates success. Anything higher indicates failure.

As a bat file, error.bat:

@echo off
net stop alerter
if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto error
echo There was a problem

The output looks like this:

The Alerter service is not started.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 3521.

There was a problem
Press any key to continue . . .

Return Codes

 - 0 = Success
 - 1 = Not Supported
 - 2 = Access Denied
 - 3 = Dependent Services Running
 - 4 = Invalid Service Control
 - 5 = Service Cannot Accept Control
 - 6 = Service Not Active
 - 7 = Service Request Timeout
 - 8 = Unknown Failure
 - 9 = Path Not Found
 - 10 = Service Already Running
 - 11 = Service Database Locked
 - 12 = Service Dependency Deleted
 - 13 = Service Dependency Failure
 - 14 = Service Disabled
 - 15 = Service Logon Failure
 - 16 = Service Marked For Deletion
 - 17 = Service No Thread
 - 18 = Status Circular Dependency
 - 19 = Status Duplicate Name
 - 20 = Status Invalid Name
 - 21 = Status Invalid Parameter 
 - 22 = Status Invalid Service Account
 - 23 = Status Service Exists
 - 24 = Service Already Paused

Edit 20.04.2015

Return Codes:

The NET command does not return the documented Win32_Service class return codes (Service Not Active,Service Request Timeout, etc) and for many errors will simply return Errorlevel 2.

Look here:


Use the SC (service control) command, it gives you a lot more options than just start & stop.

          SC is a command line program used for communicating with the
          NT Service Controller and services.
      sc <server> [command] [service name]  ...

      The option <server> has the form "\\ServerName"
      Further help on commands can be obtained by typing: "sc [command]"
        query-----------Queries the status for a service, or
                        enumerates the status for types of services.
        queryex---------Queries the extended status for a service, or
                        enumerates the status for types of services.
        start-----------Starts a service.
        pause-----------Sends a PAUSE control request to a service.
        interrogate-----Sends an INTERROGATE control request to a service.
        continue--------Sends a CONTINUE control request to a service.
        stop------------Sends a STOP request to a service.
        config----------Changes the configuration of a service (persistant).
        description-----Changes the description of a service.
        failure---------Changes the actions taken by a service upon failure.
        qc--------------Queries the configuration information for a service.
        qdescription----Queries the description for a service.
        qfailure--------Queries the actions taken by a service upon failure.
        delete----------Deletes a service (from the registry).
        create----------Creates a service. (adds it to the registry).
        control---------Sends a control to a service.
        sdshow----------Displays a service's security descriptor.
        sdset-----------Sets a service's security descriptor.
        GetDisplayName--Gets the DisplayName for a service.
        GetKeyName------Gets the ServiceKeyName for a service.
        EnumDepend------Enumerates Service Dependencies.

      The following commands don't require a service name:
      sc <server> <command> <option>
        boot------------(ok | bad) Indicates whether the last boot should
                        be saved as the last-known-good boot configuration
        Lock------------Locks the Service Database
        QueryLock-------Queries the LockStatus for the SCManager Database
          sc start MyService


Instead of checking codes, this works too

net start "Apache tomcat" || goto ExitError

exit 0  

echo An error has occurred while starting the tomcat services  
exit 1  


You can use the NET START command and then check the ERRORLEVEL environment variable, e.g.

net start [your service]
if %errorlevel% == 2 echo Could not start service.
if %errorlevel% == 0 echo Service started successfully.
echo Errorlevel: %errorlevel%

Disclaimer: I’ve written this from the top of my head, but I think it’ll work.