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Windows Driver Service Loader

Following is some C++ source code for a Windows kernel-driver service loader. It could be used to load other service types too by changing the dwServiceType flag on the CreateService call. I threw this together for another project I am currently working on. It is also used in the following post (posting soon).

It works in the following way:
  • It is a command line utility which takes 3 arguments:
    1. The service name. Hereby referred to as SERVICE_NAME
    2. The service display name. Hereby referred to as DISPLAY_NAME
    3. The driver path (to the .sys file). Hereby referred to as DRIVER_PATH
  • This program (most likely) requires administrative access. There are also some caveats regarding driver code signing requirements that are thoroughly explored elsewhere.
  • It first checks to see if a service already exists with the given SERVICE_NAME. If it does:
    1. If the DISPLAY_NAME matches, the service is kept as is.
    2. If the DISPLAY_NAME does not match, the user is prompted on if they want to delete the current service. If they do not, the program exits.
  • If the service needs to be created (it did not already exist or was deleted), it creates the service with the given SERVICE_NAME, DISPLAY_NAME, and DRIVER_PATH. If the service is not created during this run, the DRIVER_PATH is ignored.
    Note: The DRIVER_PATH must be to a direct local file system file. I have found that network links and symbolic links do not work.
  • The service is started up:
    • If it is already running, the user is prompted on if they want to stop the currently running service. If they say no, the program exits.
  • The program then waits for a final user input on if they want to close the service before exiting the program.
  • If there was an error, the program reports the error, otherwise, it reports “Success”.
  • The program pauses at the end until the user presses any key to exit.
  • The program returns 0 on success, and 1 if an error occurred.

//Compiler flags
#define WIN32_LEAN_AND_MEAN  //Include minimum amount of windows stuff
#ifndef _UNICODE //Everything in this script is unicode
	#define _UNICODE

#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>
#include <memory>

//Smart pointers
typedef std::unique_ptr<WCHAR, void(*)(WCHAR*)> SmartWinAlloc;
typedef std::unique_ptr<SC_HANDLE, void(*)(SC_HANDLE*)> SmartCloseService;
void Delete_SmartWinAlloc(WCHAR *p) { if(p) LocalFree(p); }
void Delete_SmartCloseService(SC_HANDLE *h) { if(h && *h) CloseServiceHandle(*h); }

//Function declarations
WCHAR* InitDriver(int argc, WCHAR *argv[]);
WCHAR* FormatError(WCHAR* Format, ...);
SmartWinAlloc GetLastErrorStr();
BOOLEAN AskQuestion(WCHAR* Question); //Returns if user answered yes

int wmain(int argc, WCHAR *argv[])
	//Run the init routine
	WCHAR* Ret=InitDriver(argc, argv);

	//If there is an error, report it, or otherwise, report success
	wprintf(L"%s\n", Ret ? Ret : L"Success");
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Press any key to exit");

	//Return if successful
	return (Ret ? 1 : 0);

WCHAR* InitDriver(int argc, WCHAR *argv[])
	//Confirm arguments
		return FormatError(L"%s", L"3 arguments are required: Service Name, Display Name, Driver Path");
	const WCHAR* Param_ServiceName=argv[1];
	const WCHAR* Param_DisplayName=argv[2];
	const WCHAR* Param_DriverPath =argv[3];

	//Open the service manager
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Opening the service manager");
	SC_HANDLE HSCManager=OpenSCManager(nullptr, nullptr, SC_MANAGER_CREATE_SERVICE);
		return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Error opening service manager", GetLastErrorStr());
	SmartCloseService FreeHSCManager(&HSCManager, Delete_SmartCloseService);

	//Check if the service already exists
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Checking previously existing service state");
	BOOL ServiceExists=false;
		//Get the service name
		const DWORD NameBufferSize=255;
		WCHAR NameBuffer[NameBufferSize];
		WCHAR *NamePointer=NameBuffer;
		DWORD NamePointerSize=NameBufferSize;
		std::unique_ptr<WCHAR> Buf(nullptr); //May be swapped with a real pointer later
		for(INT_PTR i=0;i<2;i++)
			//If we found the service, exit the lookup here
			if(GetServiceDisplayName(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, NamePointer, &NamePointerSize))

			//If the service does not exist, we can exit the lookup here

			//If error is not insufficient buffer size, return the error
				return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not query service information", GetLastErrorStr());

			//If second pass, error out
				return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not query service information", L"Second buffer pass failed");

			//Create a buffer of appropriate size (and make sure it will later be released)
			NamePointer=new WCHAR[++NamePointerSize];
			std::unique_ptr<WCHAR> Buf2(NamePointer);

		//If the service already exists, confirm the service name matches, and if not, ask if user wants to delete the current service
			wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service already exists");
			if(wcsncmp(NamePointer, Param_DisplayName, NamePointerSize+1))
				//If the server names do not match, ask the user what to do
				wprintf(L"%s:\nCurrent: %s\nRequested: %s\n", L"The service names do not match", NamePointer, Param_DisplayName);

				//Make the request
				if(!AskQuestion(L"Would you like to replace the service? (y/n)")) //If user does not wish to replace the service
					return FormatError(L"%s", L"Cannot continue if service names do not match");

				//Delete the service
				wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Deleting the old service");
				SC_HANDLE TheService=OpenService(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, DELETE);
					return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not open the service to delete it", GetLastErrorStr());
				SmartCloseService CloseTheService(&TheService, Delete_SmartCloseService); //Close the service handle
					return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not delete the service", GetLastErrorStr());
				wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service has been deleted");

	//Create the service
	SC_HANDLE TheService;
		//Confirm the driver path exists
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Checking the driver file");
		DWORD FileAttrs=GetFileAttributes(Param_DriverPath);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Given path is invalid", GetLastErrorStr());
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Given path is invalid", L"Path is a folder");

		//Create the service
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Creating the service");
			HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, Param_DisplayName, 
			Param_DriverPath, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not create the service", GetLastErrorStr());

	//Open the service if not creating
	} else {
		TheService=OpenService(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, SERVICE_START|SERVICE_STOP);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not open the service", GetLastErrorStr());
	SmartCloseService CloseTheService(&TheService, Delete_SmartCloseService); //Close the service on exit

	//Start the service
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Starting the service");
	for(INT_PTR i=0;i<2;i++)
		if(StartService(TheService, 0, nullptr))

		//If not "service already running" error, or user does not want to stop the current service
		if(i==1 || GetLastError()!=ERROR_SERVICE_ALREADY_RUNNING || !AskQuestion(L"The service is already running. Would you like to stop it? (y/n)"))
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not start the service", GetLastErrorStr());

		//Stop the service
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Stopping the current service");
		if(!ControlService(TheService, SERVICE_CONTROL_STOP, &ss))
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not stop the current service", GetLastErrorStr());
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Started the service");

	//Ask if the user wants to close the service
	if(!AskQuestion(L"Would you like to stop the service before exit? (y/n)"))
		return nullptr;

	//Stop the service
	if(!ControlService(TheService, SERVICE_CONTROL_STOP, &ss))
		return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not stop the service", GetLastErrorStr());
	if(ss.dwCurrentState!=SERVICE_STOP_PENDING && ss.dwCurrentState!=SERVICE_STOPPED)
		return FormatError(L"%s", L"The service does not appear to be closing");
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service has been stopped");

	//Return success
	return nullptr;

WCHAR* FormatError(WCHAR* Format, ...)
	static WCHAR Err[255];
	va_list VAList;
	va_start(VAList, Format);
	vswprintf(Err, sizeof(Err)/sizeof(Err[0]), Format, VAList);
	return Err;

SmartWinAlloc GetLastErrorStr()
	LPWSTR MessageBuffer=nullptr;
		nullptr, GetLastError(), MAKELANGID(LANG_NEUTRAL, SUBLANG_DEFAULT), (LPWSTR)&MessageBuffer, 0, nullptr);
	return SmartWinAlloc(MessageBuffer, Delete_SmartWinAlloc);

BOOLEAN AskQuestion(WCHAR* Question)
	//Make the request and wait for an input character
		//Ask the question and get the answer
		wprintf(L"%s:", Question);
		char InputChar=_getch();

		//Check for a valid answer
		if(InputChar=='n' || InputChar=='N')
			return FALSE;
		if(InputChar=='y' || InputChar=='Y')
			return TRUE;

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