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Descent 3 - Descent 3 dedicated server tool for Windows
Written by Thomas   
Saturday, 09 October 2010 10:27
Article Index
Running D3Server3 as a Windows service
Configuring D3Server3 to run as a Windows service
Installing the Windows service
Starting and stopping the service and maintaining your servers
Playing on the same computer
All Pages


D3ServerMainWindowWithServer02newThe new version of the Descent 3 dedicated server tool D3Server3 can run as a Windows service. This means that no user needs to be logged on to the system, and all dedicated servers can run entirely in the background.

This also means that you can set it up to automatically start up when the system is turned on or restarts and that you can configure a recovery strategy in case it fails. By and large, all benefits of a Windows service apply to your server tool and the dedicated Descent 3 servers it controls.


The Descent 3 dedicated server tool D3Server3 as well as dedicated Descent 3 servers are Windows GUI applications. Although the Windows user interface of dedicated Descent 3 servers is very sparse and pretty much limited to some status information and entering admin commands, it still counts as a GUI application for what we're trying to do here. It's in fact a so-called Windows console application, which people sometimes confuse with a "DOS box" application.

The dedicated server tool D3Server3 consists of a main dialog window and several other configuration dialog windows, hence it definitely is a Windows GUI software.

For many applications the benefits of having a graphical user interface outweigh the sometimes difficult task of editing configuration files manually or driven by scripts. This convenience is bought together with a big disadvantage for server applications: A user needs to be logged on to the system during the runtime of the software, and there's usually always something on the screen that indicates that the application is running, be it a window or just an icon in the taskbar. This goes with the risk of accidentally closing the program. Running applications are closed by the operating system when a user logs off or when a different user logs on. Windows services don't have these issues. They continue to run in the background.

Most modern operating systems support background processes, which are applications that run invisible to the user. On Windows, these applications are called Windows services. The "Windows service technology" has been introduced with Microsoft Windows NT in 1993 and still works almost unchanged on the latest Windows versions.

This article discusses how to run the Descent 3 dedicated server tool D3Server3 and its spawned and controlled dedicated Descent 3 servers as a Windows service. The whole process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to set up.


Check that you are an administrator on your computer

Only administrators can install, start, stop, and remove Windows services. If you don't have administrative rights on your computer, you need to sort this out. Make sure you are an administrator on your computer first before you proceed.

Newer versions of Windows introduced something called UAC (User Account Control). Although the service can run with UAC turned on, the applcation D3Server3 can not.

Once the D3Server3 service is up and running and as long as you don't need to make any more changes to its configuration or your dedicated servers, administrative rights are not required.


Check that you have the correct files

If you have D3Server3 running already, you need to ensure that you have the correct versions of the required files. All versions since can be used to run as a Windows service (although definitely not recommended), but only beginning with version the files needed to run the software are included in the package, and it actually works without issues. You can check D3Server3's version number by clicking on the About button or by using Windows Explorer's properties/version tab.

If you have a lower version than or if you don't have D3Server3 yet, you need to download the files first.

The required files are:

  • ConfigD3Server3.cmd (This file is not required anymore with D3Server3 version and newer)
  • D3Server3.exe
  • D3Server3Service.ini
  • logtext.dll
  • logtext.ini
  • ServiceExe.exe




The application to run D3Server3 as a Windows service is ServiceExe. The configuration file D3Server3Service.ini is already prepared for the dedicated server tool, but you can adjust some settings as explained further down, if you like.

If you obtained the latest version of D3Server3 through its automatic update function, or if you downloaded and installed the latest version, you already have all the required files. If you still have a less recent version, you may have the correct version of D3Server3 and Logtext, but the files ServiceExe.exe and D3Server3Service.ini are missing on your system. In this case you need to download and install the latest version of D3Server3.

Do NOT try to run the files directly from a mapped network drive or a UNC path, not even if the source is on the same computer. I'm not saying that this is impossible to do, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you copy them locally to the machine on which the service and the application will be running later. Also don't use removable medias like USB sticks (sometimes called thumb drives), external USB hard drives, or similar. Copy the files to a local disk/partition. The one on which you have installed Windows may be the best choice. If you have Windows on C:, install the files there too. Some in-depth software developers might disagree with this statement, but consider a Windows service as being part of the operating system. That's why it's best run from the system partition unless there's not enough space left on the device. In that case, go for the second best choice, which would be some other fixed local hard disk partition. If your Windows is running from an external hard drive, then of course it's perfectly ok to install the D3Server3 service to this media on the same partition too.


Last Updated on Sunday, 02 February 2014 10:59
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