How to run Hamachi Basic as a Service in Windows XP

EDIT – Hamachi has updated their licensing, allowing you to run Hamachi as a service for free. Check here for more information.

So… I still love Hamachi, it’s the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion, but there are times when we want or need it to run as a service, or without the user knowing it. LogMeIn has made this “run as a Service” a feature of their premium version for Windows XP, which will set you back $39.00 per year. Here’s a way of getting around this litle connundrum.

A word of warning, this procedure alters the registry. Improper changes can result in a screwed up system, so don’t touch anything I don’t tell you to touch, mmkay? 😛

You’ll need three things:

  1. Hamachi
  2. srvany.exe
  3. instsrv.exe

Install Hamachi as normally, but don’t run it yet. I copy the srvany.exe and instsrv.exe executables to my system32 folder, but you can put them wherever you like (just modify the following instructions accordingly). I usually setup the Hamachi account under the Administrator account (not your administrator account, the Administrator account), but you can change this if you wish.

Log into the Administrator account and fire up Hamachi. Set up your networks and accounts as usual, and then save your Hamachi configuration folder. Archive it, save it to another computer, email it to your own GMail account – whatever, just make a backup of this folder. Shutdown Hamachi, and then open a command line by going to Start->Run and typing in cmd. Press the enter key, or OK. In the commandline, type in the following command:

instsrv.exe HamachiService C:Windowssystem32srvany.exe

Open up the Registry Editor (Start–>Run–>regedit.exe–>OK) and navigate to HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesHamachiService. Right-click on the right hand pane and select “New Key” – name it Parameters. In this key, add a new String Value named Application and enter the following as the value:

C:Program FilesHamachihamachi.exe -srvany -config "C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorApplication DataHamachi"

Close the Registry Editor, and open up the Services management page (Start->Run->services.msc). Scroll down until you see HamachiService. Right-click on this entry, and select Start.

That’s it! You should now be connected to all your Hamachi networks without having the window open. The only snag – if you want to make any edits to your network configuration, or if you want to update Hamachi, you’ll have to shutdown the service, log into the Administrator account, and make the changes there.


  1. This article worked perfect for what I needed. If you setup the service and check the Allow service to interact with desktop option in the LogOn tab, the you can open the hamachi window and change the configuration as needed.

    thanks for the article

  2. look, when the internet connection is not available, the hamachi service will try several times to connect. If it fails… It won’t connect any more, even if the internet connection is available on next system start.
    I saw somewhere that hamachi remembers its last state….so it has to be manually connected (that’s not a nice thing to do if I have hamachi running as a background service)

    Is there a way to force hamachi to try connecting each time it starts??

    (or forgetting its last state?)


  3. nick

    2008-07-24 at 02:33

    Hi yourdealer,

    I use this setup on my laptop which often finds itself without internet connections for hours at a time (You can see Executor in the list of “Zxian’s Computers” at the top of the page. Creating this service does two things. First, it allows the program to start without requiring a user to be logged on, and secondly, it hides the GUI from the end user.

    If you find yourself without a Hamachi connection, what does the program window show if you stop the service and then open the program from the Start menu?

    Another option is to go into your Application Data folder (Start->Run->type in ‘%APPDATA%’ without quotes), and into the Hamachi Folder. Create a file called hamachi-override.ini and put the following line into that file:

    AutoLogin 1

    That should, as far as I know, force Hamachi to try to login to the Hamachi network on every start.

    Hope this helps.

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