Killing a Windows Service that seems to hang on "Stopping"


It sometimes happens (and it's not a good sign most of the time): you'd like to stop a Windows Service, and when you issue the stop command through the SCM (Service Control Manager) or by using the ServiceProcess classes in the .NET Framework or by other means (net stop, Win32 API), the service remains in the state of "stopping" and never reaches the stopped phase. It's pretty simple to simulate this behavior by creating a Windows Service in C# (or any .NET language whatsoever) and adding an infinite loop in the Stop method. The only way to stop the service is by killing the process then. However, sometimes it's not clear what the process name or ID is (e.g. when you're running a service hosting application that can cope with multiple instances such as SQL Server Notification Services).

The way to do it is as follows:


Go to the command-prompt and query the service (e.g. the SMTP service) by using sc:

sc \\Servername queryex SMTPSvc
This will give you the following information:

SERVICE_NAME: SMTPSvc

TYPE : 20

WIN32_SHARE_PROCESS

STATE : 4 RUNNING (STOPPABLE, PAUSABLE, ACCEPTS_SHUTDOWN)

WIN32_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)

SERVICE_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)

CHECKPOINT : 0x0

WAIT_HINT : 0x0

PID : 388

FLAGS :or something like this (the "state" will mention stopping).


Over here you can find the process identifier (PID), so it's pretty easy to kill the associated process either by using the task manager or by using taskkill:

taskkill /PID 388 /F

where the /F flag is needed to force the process kill (first try without the flag).

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