Timer in a win32 service

By : dennisV
Source: Stackoverflow.com

Can someone please point me to the easiest way to have a timer in a Win32 service?

I suppose I could create a dummy window for this purpose or have a second thread do tick counts, but what's best? Is there a more elegant way?

Thanks in advance.

By : dennisV


In one of your comments you said that "...the service is processing stuff in other threads, I just need to check the status of a few files every second."

Polling is not an optimal way of checking file status, and will adversely affect system performance. While there are (sometimes) problems doing this over networks, you should check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa364417(VS.85).aspx or http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365261(VS.85).aspx for how to do it and http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2006/01/24/516808.aspx for why you should.

Instead of using UI timers (even though you can use the NULL window handle as shown by Mr. 1800-INFO) you can use kernel waitable timer objects. See CreateWaitableTimer in the API docs. These can then be waited-on using WaitForSingleObject or WaitForMultipleObjects, etc, which is especially useful if that's already how your service waits for external events.

If it's not clear from that first link, the SetWaitableTimer function can associate a completion routine (user callback) with the timer. Remember to use the ...Ex versions of WaitForMultipleObjects (etc.) so that the thread is in an "alertable" state.

By : Adam Mitz

Are you just trying to "wake up" every now and then to do some work? You can always use Sleep().

Additionally, I typically have a thread that is in a while(1 == 1) loop with a sleep inside. There I can check for the shutdown request and other misc housekeeping. You could use that system to tickle an event or mutex for the worker thread in the app.

By : John Dyer

This video can help you solving your question :)
By: admin