Startup/Shutdown Integration on Microsoft Windows Systems
Though Microsoft Windows systems provide multiple mechanisms for integrating commands into various Startup folders, it is important to differentiate between commands that run at user login (personal startup commands), which can be placed in the Startup folder for that user (or for all users), and commands that run when a Windows system itself starts, regardless of whether anyone is logged in on the system. Commands such as the Watson™ Explorer Engine startup and shutdown commands should not be integrated into per-user startup mechanisms on production Watson Explorer Engine servers, because they would not start until a user logged in on those systems.
There are several mechanisms for integrating commands into the Windows system startup process. The most commonly-used of these are the following:
- Group Policy Editor, which is a Microsoft Management Console applet that enables
you to add startup and shutdown scripts and associated parameters to the group policies for system
startup and shutdown. This applet is a default part of Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012
installations. You should run this utility as a user with Administator privileges to guarantee that
you are able to modify basic system settings.
You can start this utility by selecting the Start menu's Run command, entering the command gpedit.msc in the Open: text area, and clicking OK. Once the tool starts, expand the Computer Configuration item in the left pane, expand the Windows Settings item in that same pane, and select the Scripts (Startup/Shutdown) item to display the Startup and Shutdown sections in the right pane. Double-clicking either of these opens an associated Properties dialog in which you can click Add to define a new startup or shutdown item. You should browse for and add the command engine-start.exe with the --yes option as a startup script, and add the command engine-shutdown.exe with the --yes option as a shutdown script.
- Registry Editor, which has been available as a default part of Windows installation
since Windows 3.1. You can add registry keys that will execute commands at system startup, but there
are no default registry entries for executing commands at system shutdown. While it is possible,
manually editing the registry to integrate the Watson Explorer Engine
engine-start.exe command is not recommended.
You can start this utility by selecting the Start menu's Run command, entering the command regedit in the Open: text area, and clicking OK. Once the tool starts, navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion section and add a key to the RunServices entry. The new key can have an arbitrary name, and its value should be the complete command-line that you want to execute, with all arguments. After adding this key, save your registry and exit the Registry Editor.
Once commands have been integrated into the system startup process, Microsoft Windows systems provide a number of different mechanisms for listing and enabling/disabling the commands that run at system startup. These mechanisms can be useful to temporarily disable commands that have been scheduled for execution at system startup, but do not provide a mechanism for adding new commands to the startup sequence. Examples of these commands are the following:
- System Configuration Utility (MSConfig), which has been provided as a default part
of Windows installations since Windows 95. You can start this utility by selecting the Start
menu's Run command, entering the command msconfig in the
Open: text area, and clicking OK.
Once the System Configuration Utility starts, you can see and manipulate the applications that run at system startup by selecting the Startup tab.
- Windows Defender, which is primarily an anti-spyware/malware tool but also provides
provided as a default part of Windows Vista and later systems. On Windows server systems,
you can start this utility by selecting the Start menu's All Programs
command, and selecting Windows Defender from that menu.
Once Windows Defender starts, select themenu item to see and manipulate the applications that are currently running on your system, and those that are scheduled for execution at system startup.
A number of third-party utilities provide alternate mechanisms for integrating commands into the Windows system startup and shutdown process. These have not been tested with the Watson Explorer Engine engine-start and engine-shutdown commands, and are therefore not supported by IBM.