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Debugging Windows Service Timeout Error 1053

If you ever receive an Error 1053 for a timeout when starting a Windows Service you’ve written, the underlying problem might not have anything to do with a timeout.  Here’s the error so you can compare it to what you’re seeing:

Windows could not start the Service1 service on Local Computer.

Error 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.


Searching the Web for a solution to this error in your Windows Service will result in a lot of wasted time and advice that won’t help.  Sometimes you might get lucky if your problem is exactly the same as someone else’s, but this isn’t always the case.  One of the solutions you’ll see has to do with a known error on Windows Server 2003 that’s fixed by a patch to the .NET Framework 1.1, which won’t work.  As I write this blog post, I’m using the .NET Framework 4.0, which is a tad bit past that timeframe.

Most likely, the basic problem is that your service is throwing an exception that you aren’t handling.  To debug this, wrap your service initialization code in a try/catch block and log the exception, as shown below:

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.ServiceProcess;

namespace WindowsService {
static class Program {
  static void Main() {
    try {
      ServiceBase[] ServicesToRun;
      ServicesToRun = new ServiceBase[]{new Service1()};
    } catch (Exception ex) {
      EventLog.WriteEntry("Application", ex.ToString(),

After you uninstall the old service, redeploy the service with modifications, and receive the same error message as above; look in the Event Viewer/Application logs.  You’ll see what the real problem is, which is the underlying reason for the timeout.


This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Joe Mayo

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