Net start (from the command prompt) not working

By O negative ยท 5 replies
Feb 5, 2012
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  1. I have a machine with a crippled OS (Vista) so I have to use the command prompt.

    When I type, NET HELP SERVICES, I get a full list of stuff with NET START BROWSER at the top.

    (When I type, NET START, I get only seven items and BROWSER is not one of them. When I do this on a machine that has a fully functioning Windows OS I get 50 services running.)

    When I type, NET START BROWSER, I get, "The service name is invalid." "More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2185." When I type, NET HELPMSG 2185, I get, "The service name is invalid", and nothing more.

    I'm hitting the same wall I hit with Netsh commands. I can only be a passive observer of the machine's state except that I can launch some .exe files, like Notepad. All the while it says I am logged in as Administrator.
  2. wrt54gs7

    wrt54gs7 TS Enthusiast

    Try running "sfc /scannow" without quotes at command prompt (as admin), then "net start browser". I suggest you check for viruses or repair/reinstall vista.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    mine shows 'Computer Browser' so the command would be net start "Computer Browser"

    you might also see if run->cmd services.msc would get you back into GUI mode for services
  4. O negative

    O negative TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Registry misspelling

    Check this out:

    I checked the registry for the first time ever. I looked under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Services, and there right between "BITS" and "BrFiltLo" is "bowser" (sic). Not "browser", "bowser"!

    So I went back to the command prompt and typed, "NET START BOWSER" and after a brief delay it said "The bowser service was started successfully."

    Does this matter? Do you have Vista 32-bit? Is your registry misspelled?
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    I'm on XP/Pro but the path in the registry for the 'Browser' is"

    DisplayName = "Computer Browser"
    ImagePath = "%SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs"

    The Computer Browser is used to find system on your LAN which are in your Workgroup - -
    this is NOT related to the Internet Explorer browser OR to the File Tree browser.

    Therefore, if you have only one system, this "Computer Browser" service is not necessary at all.
  6. O negative

    O negative TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19


    Actually I have two machines connected with a crossover.

    I just thought that maybe somebody monkeyed with the registry. The guy who owns this crippled Toshiba paid someone last spring to do some on-line improvements. I think a SpeedMax or MyCleanPC or some such ilk. He can't remember the name. He thinks the guy was in India. The file, "bowser.sys" has a modification date of Feb. 2011--newer than most of the system stuff.

    I did a search of that file on the web and it looks like it is a legit Vista component.

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