The NET SEND command may not work correctly on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2


After you install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) on your computer, you may not be able to send or to receive messages by using the Windows operating system NET SEND command. You may notice this problem in one or in all the following scenarios:
  • When you use the NET SEND notification method to notify a SQL Server operator about the events that have occurred on the instance of SQL Server.
  • When you run the NET SEND command by using the xp_cmdshell extended system stored procedure to send a message to a user or to a computer on the network.
Additionally, you may receive the following error message when you try to send a message by using the NET SEND command:
An error occurred while sending a message to <Computer Name>.
The message alias could not be found on the network.
More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2273.
This problem occurs when one of the following conditions is true:
  • The source computer is running Microsoft Windows XP SP2.
  • The destination computer is running Microsoft Windows XP SP2.
As a result, the destination computer does not receive the messages that are sent by the NET SEND command.


This problem occurs because the Messenger service is disabled. The messenger service must run on the destination computer to enable the NET SEND command. By default, the Messenger service is disabled on computers that are running Microsoft Windows XP SP2.


To have us change the Startup type of the Messenger service to Automatic, and then start the Messenger service for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix itbutton or link. Click Runin the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

To work around this problem, change the Startup type of the Messenger service to Automatic, and then start the Messenger service. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. In the left pane, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
  3. In the Computer Management window, expand
    Services and Applications in the left pane, and then click
  4. In the right pane, double-click
  5. In the Messenger Properties (Local Computer) dialog box, click the Generaltab.
  6. On the General tab, select
    Automatic from the Startup type list, and then click Apply.
  7. Under Service status, click
    Start, and then click OK.


This behavior is by design.

More Information

You can use an alternative method such as sending an e-mail message to communicate with Windows users or with computers instead of using the NET SEND command.

Caution Do not enable the Messenger service if your computer is connected to the Internet.


For more information about the NET SEND command, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

826278 You do not receive a message that was sent by using the net send command

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an email.

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