Run PDFCreator as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run PDFCreator 24/7 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Ensure that PDFCreator is available to convert to PDF as soon as your computer boots, before you log on!

PDFCreator is free PDF converter tool supporting server-based operation.

To configure PDFCreator with AlwaysUp:

  1. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  2. Download and install PDFCreator, if necessary. Please make a note of where you installed it as this will be used in a later step.

  3. Next, prepare PDFCreator to run unattended. When run with AlwaysUp, no one may be logged on to dismiss PDFCreator's confirmation and notification dialogs!

    Start PDFCreator as an administrator and go through the options (select Printer > Options) and deactivate all settings that may prompt for input. We recommend the following:

    1. General Settings > General Settings 1: Enable No confirm message switching PDFCreator temporarily as default printer

      PDFCreator Options: General Settings 1

    2. General Settings > General Settings 2: Disable checking for updates

      PDFCreator Options: General Settings 2

    3. Auto-save: Configure automatic saving without prompting

      PDFCreator Options: Auto save

    Please be sure to review all the settings particular to your situation and eliminate other potential interruptions! Click on the Save button when you are done.

  4. Start AlwaysUp.

  5. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  6. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the PDFCreator executable, PDFCreator.exe. If you installed PDFCreator in the default location, this is:

      C:\Program Files\PDFCreator\PDFCreator.exe

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have used PDFCreator but you can specify almost anything you like.

    PDFCreator Windows Service: General Tab

  7. Click over to the Logon tab and enter the user name and password of the account in which you installed and configured PDFCreator. PDFCreator must run in this account so that it can find its settings.

    PDFCreator Windows Service: LogOn Tab

  8. Move to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This informs AlwaysUp that PDFCreator needs TCP/IP networking support to do its work.

    PDFCreator Windows Service: Startup Tab

  9. Click the Save button. In a couple of seconds, an application called PDFCreator will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    PDFCreator Windows Service: Created

  10. If PDFCreator is running, please close it now. We are about to start it with AlwaysUp...

  11. To start PDFCreator as a Windows Service from AlwaysUp, choose Application > Start "PDFCreator". Note that you probably won't see PDFCreator's window appear as it is running in the background, but printing should proceed normally.

    PDFCreator Windows Service: Running

    On Windows 7, 2008 and Vista, PDFCreator will be running in the isolated Session 0. Select Tools > Switch to Session 0 to see the PDF Print monitor window:

    PDFCreator Windows Service: Running in Session 0

    And you can select Application > Start "PDFCreator" in this Session if you wish to show PDFCreator on your desktop. (More on this in the AlwaysUp FAQ.)

  12. Now that PDFCreator will always be running in the background, there is no need to start it again when you log on. We recommend using the free Autoruns tool from Microsoft to disable PDFCreator's auto-start but any "startup manager" should do the trick.

    With Autoruns, click over to the Logon tab and un-check the box beside the PDFCreator entry:

    Disable PDFCreator autostart at login with Autoruns

  13. That's it! Next time your computer boots, PDFCreator will start up immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit the entry in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. Boost priority, send email and much more!

PDFCreator not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and your application. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Consult the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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