|April 28, 2002
FireDaemon is a very cool
program that turns almost any program into a daemon or service. A
service is a program that runs in the background all the time, regardless
if somebody is logged in or not. This is very useful for certain
programs that you would like running all the time.
You may ask: What if I put
a shortcut to the program I want in the startup folder of the start menu?
Won't that work? Answer: Sort of. If you put a program in the
startup folder in the start menu, it will run when Windows is loaded.
However, if you setup Windows so that it requires you to login, then the
program in the startup folder won't run until login is complete.
Also, it will only run if the proper person logs in. A service runs
all the time, regardless of who is or is not logged in.
FireDaemon will work with
Windows NT v4.0 Workstation or Server with Service Pack 4 or later installed.
It will also work with Windows 2000 Professional and Advanced Server with
Service Pack 1 installed. It is not designed to work with Windows 95/98.
Let's get started.
Download FireDaemon from
The version I downloaded is named "fd009c-fdui10R3.exe"
Double click on it to start
installation. You'll get a dialog box that asks if you would like
to continue. Click "Yes".
Setup has begin. Click
More Information. Click
Here you get to choose which
directory FireDaemon is installed in. The default directory is fine.
Now you get to choose the
program group name. The default is fine. Click "Next".
Wow you can see some of the programs I have installed on my computer here.
Now we're ready to install.
Now we're done. Click
Now that we have FireDaemon
installed, let's setup one of our favorite programs to run as a service.
We'll setup FREEping as a service.
There are two ways to setup
FireDaemon, by command line or by graphical interface. We'll go the
command line method because it's so much funner. So much more fun.
Go: "Start" -> "Programs"
-> "FireDaemon" -> "FireDaemon v0.09c"
You'll see this lovely window.
Now type in the service name
at the prompt. Like the prompt says, the name can have no spaces.
We'll go with "FREEping". Hit Enter.
The easiest way to do the
next few windows is to find the shortcut for the application you're trying
to turn into a service and look at the properties. Then you can simply
cut and paste instead of typing and risking making mistakes. Don't
copy the parentheses marks. The "" marks. Here is the properties
page of FREEping.
You now need to type in the
Application Working Directory. This is the directory in which FREEping
is installed. I'll enter: "C:\Program Files\FREEping"
Now enter the full path and
name for the executable. I'll enter: "C:\Program Files\FREEping\FREEping.exe"
Here you type in any options
your application requires. Since FREEping doesn't require any switches,
just press "Enter".
Prompt 5 asks whether or
not to automatically restart the application if for any reason it crashes
or fails. Type in "y".
For the processor affinity
mask, just enter "0". If you want more information about what this
settings is for, you can read the documentation. However, "0" is
The Process Priority allows
you to determine how much time the Process Scheduler allocates to the subprocess.
Again, you can safely type in "0". Trust me :)
Now you get to choose whether
or not the application will be able to interact with the desktop or not.
If you want it to run completely in the background, then type "n".
If you want to be able to still interact with the program, then type "y".
We can change this option later. For now, let's say no.
Do we want the service to
auto start? Of course we do. Type "y".
Hit enter and you should
see this happy message. "Service successfully installed!"
Press Enter to continue and
the window closes. Now let's take a look to see if this thing really
Go to: "Start" -> "Settings"
-> "Control Panel" -> "Administrative Tools" -> "Services".
You'll see a list of all
the services running on your computer.
Find the one that is labeled
"FireDaemon Service:.....". Right click on the name and select "Properties".
As you can see, the service is currently stopped. This is because
we just created it. Upon the next reboot of your computer, it will
To make it run now, simply
press "Start". You should see "Service status: Started".
Now let's go over a few things.
Remember how we made it so that the service does not interact with the
desktop? How do we change this? Easy, go to the "Log On" tab
and check the box labeled "Allow service to interact with desktop".
Simple. Next time you start the service, the FREEping window will
pop up. Now try closing the window to FREEping. What happens?
It keeps coming back up! Why? Remember that we set it so that
if FREEping fails, it automatically restarts. Pretty cool eh?
It would be best to uncheck
the box that allows the service to interact with the desktop and let it
run in the background. You may ask: Well, if the program cannot interact
with the desktop, how do I make changes to FREEping, like adding different
IP addresses to ping? Easy my friend. All you have to do is
open up FREEping from the start menu, make the changes you want and then
close the program. Next, go to your Services window and restart the
"FireDaemon: FREEping" service. When it finishes restarting, the
service will be running with your new changes.
There you go. As you
can see, FireDaemon is a very handy program that will serve you well.
We used FREEping as the example here, but there are many other programs
you could run as a service instead.