Programs or services that use the Alerter service or the Messenger service do not work as expected after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2

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Article ID: 843021 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Programs or services that use the Alerter service or the Messenger service in Microsoft Windows XP to communicate with the user do not work as expected after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

CAUSE

This issue may occur because the Startup type options for the Alerter service and for the Messenger service in Windows XP SP2 are set to Disabled. Therefore, any programs or services that depend on either of these services will run as expected, but messages to communicate with the user will not be sent.

Note No other changes have been made to the Alerter service or to the Messenger service in Windows XP SP2.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue between the program or the service and the Alerter service or the Messenger service, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Revise the software program to use another method to communicate with the user. This allows the program to communicate with the user with enhanced security, without having to use the Alerter service or the Messenger service. This is the method that we recommend.

Method 2

Allow the program to start the Alerter service or the Messenger service before the program uses either of these services. For more information about starting these services, see Windows Help. Also, see the "Using the Services Administrative Tool to Configure Services" topic in the "System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems" article. To see this article, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/168893

WORKAROUND

To work around this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
  2. Depending on the service that the program requires, use one of the following methods:
    • To start the Alerter service, follow these steps:
      1. In the Services list, double-click Alerter.
      2. On the General tab, click either Manual or Automatic in the Startup type list.

        Note By default, the Startup type option is set to Manual in Windows XP and in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1).
      3. Click Apply.
      4. Click Start.
      5. Click OK to close the Alerter Properties dialog box.
    • To start the Messenger service, follow these steps:
      1. In the Services list, double-click Messenger.
      2. On the General tab, click either Manual or Automatic in the Startup type list.

        Note By default, the Startup type option is set to Automatic in Windows XP and in Windows XP SP1.
      3. Click Apply.
      4. Click Start.
      5. Click OK to close the Messenger Properties dialog box.
  3. On the File menu, click Exit to close the Services dialog box.

MORE INFORMATION

The Alerter service notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts. If the service is stopped, programs that use administrative alerts will not receive them. If this service is disabled, any services that depend on it will not start.

The Messenger service transmits net send command messages and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. The Messenger service is not related to Windows Messenger. If the Messenger service is stopped, Alerter messages will not be transmitted. If the Messenger service is disabled, any services that depend on it will not start.

Properties

Article ID: 843021 - Last Review: December 25, 2006 - Revision: 2.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbconfig kbsecurity kbtshoot kbprb KB843021

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