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We have a custom service that runs on Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit. It has startup type of "Automatic". However, after a reboot, the service does not start automatically. It does start if we manually start it from the service control panel. What are some possible causes of this, and how can I debug it? I examined the even log and didn't see anything special.

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Are there system event log entries related to your service? Are you sure that your service is not started? Are you sure that it is not the case that the service starts, has an error and exits immediately? Does your service depend on something (like networking)? Do you know about ServiceGroupOrder/GroupOrderList? – Werner Henze Aug 7 '13 at 11:43

Have you checked the user account assigned to the service has sufficient privileges to run the service?

A good explanation of user accounts and privileges for Windows services can be found here

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Could you please point to any documentation why that should be the case? Why do you believe that the account the service is running under needs the rights to start the service? The service is not starting itself, so its account does not need the right to start it. – Werner Henze Aug 7 '13 at 11:39
It's possible the account assigned to the service does not have the correct permissions to fulfill the functionality of the service. For example, if the service has to write data to a drive but the id used for the service does not have this permission, therefore causing the service to fail upon start up. – Steve Aug 7 '13 at 13:41
Yes, this may be, but this is not what you wrote in your answer. Also what you write in your last comment does not match the case of the questioner. He writes that the service does not start if started automatically by Windows. It starts when started manually. Both times the service is running under the same account and will have the same rights and privileges. – Werner Henze Aug 7 '13 at 13:49
Hi Werner - I've amended my reply and provided a link, I look forward to your comments, thanks. – Steve Aug 8 '13 at 15:11

Break it down.

Give the service user admin rights. Does it run?

Then dial it back.

Make sure to add / grant the user logon as a service rights.

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Have you tried setting the Startup Type to "Automatic (Delayed Startup)"? Does the service have dependencies?

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