Getting Started

ServiceControl Troubleshooting

Check the configuration via ServiceControl Management

Open ServiceControl Management and review the instance configuration. The user interface presents basic installation information for each instance of the ServiceControl service installed. To review the application configuration file for a specific instance click the installation path and then locate ServiceControl.exe.config from the Explorer window.

Service stops unexpectedly

The ServiceControl Windows Services are configured for automatic restart via Windows Service recoverability policy. The services are restarted after 1 minute of the unplanned shutdown.

Service fails to start

There are various reasons that can cause the ServiceControl Windows Service fail to start. If a critical exception is thrown at service start up this is reported via an error message in the Application Windows Event Log. Additional information may also be present in the ServiceControl logs.

The port is already in use

When adding a ServiceControl instance the configured port number is checked to ensure it is available. This is not infallible though as another application or service that uses the same port may not be running at the time the service is added.

In the event that the service fails to start to check if the configured port (typically port 33333) is available. To do this open up an elevated command prompt and issue the following command:

netstat -a -b

or use the provided ServiceControl Management PowerShell cmdlet to check a specific port:

Test-IfPortIsAvailable -Port 33333

Missing queue

The service expects to be able to connect to the error, audit and forwarding queues specified in the configuration. If the configuration has been manually changed ensure the specified queues exist.

Cannot connect to the queues

Some transports have access controls built into them. Ensure the service account specified has sufficient rights to access the queues.

Service won't start after changing service accounts

  1. The service account has access read rights to the directory the service is installed
  2. The service account has access read/write rights to the database and logs directories specified in the configuration.
  3. The service account has the logon as a service privilege.
  4. Ensure that a URLACL exists for the service (see next point for further info on listing URLACLs
  5. Ensure the group or account specified in the URLACL covers the service account.
  6. Confirm that the service account has sufficient writes to manage the configured queues. See Configuring a Non-Privileged Service Account for a breakdown of the queues to check.

Service fails to start: EsentInstanceUnavailableException

If ServiceControl fails to start and the logs contain a Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.EsentInstanceUnavailableException ensure that ServiceControl database directory, sub-directory and files, is excluded from any anti-virus and anti-malware real-time and scheduled scan.

Service fails to start: EsentDatabaseDirtyShutdownException

If ServiceControl fails to start and the logs contain a Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.EsentDatabaseDirtyShutdownException run Esent Recovery against the ServiceControl database followed by an Esent Repair.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt and navigate to the ServiceControl database directory (the default is %PROGRAMDATA%\Particular\ServiceControl\Particular.ServiceControl\DB)
  2. Run esentutl /r RVN /l "logs" to run Recovery (bringing all databases to a clean-shutdown state) and wait for it to finish
  3. Run esentutl /p Data to run Repair (Repairs a corrupted or damaged database) and wait for it to finish
  4. Restart ServiceControl

Service fails to start: SqlException certificate chain not trusted

If ServiceControl fails to start and the logs contain the following exception, then ServiceControl is not able to connect to the SQL Server instance.

  Message=A connection was successfully established with the server, but then an error occurred during the login process. (provider: SSL Provider, error: 0 - The certificate chain was issued by an authority that is not trusted.)
  Source=.Net SqlClient Data Provider

When encryption is enabled, SQL Server uses a certificate to encrypt communication between itself and ServiceControl. Version 4 of the Microsoft.Data.SqlClient package includes a breaking change to set Encrypt=true by default (the previous default was false) which causes this exception.

To fix this error, the update the SQL Server installation with a valid certificate and update the ServiceControl machine to trust this certificate.

Unable to connect to ServiceControl from either ServiceInsight or ServicePulse

  1. Log on to the machine hosting ServiceControl.
  2. Open ServiceControl Management.
  3. Click the on the ServiceControl instance that is running and needs to be examined.
  4. Click the URL under 'Host'. A valid response with JSON data will be received.
  5. If having issues remotely connecting to ServiceControl. Verify that firewall settings do not block access to the ServiceControl port specified in the URL.

Method not found

If the following exception occurs at startup, this is likely because there are one or more versions of Newtonsoft.Json registered in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).

Service cannot be started. System.MissingMethodException: Method not found: 'Void System.Net.Http.Formatting.BaseJsonMediaTypeFormatter.set_SerializerSettings(Newtonsoft.Json.JsonSerializerSettings)'.

This problem can be resolved by removing Newtonsoft.Json entries from the GAC. It can be done with the gacutil command in an elevated (administrator) console:

gacutil /u Newtonsoft.Json

It may be required to first remove all HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Assemblies\Global Newtonsoft.Json keys from the registry before using gacutil /u Newtonsoft.Json.

Resolve messages that cannot be retried

If certain messages are not scheduled for retry and the logs show the following message then the database could be in an inconsistent state:

2020-10-16 13:31:58.9863|190|Info|ServiceControl.Recoverability.RetryProcessor|Retry batch RetryBatches/1c33af76-8177-494d-ae9a-af060cefae02 cancelled as all matching unresolved messages are already marked for retry as part of another batch.
2020-10-16 13:31:59.2826|173|Info|ServiceControl.Recoverability.InMemoryRetry|Retry operation bf05499a-9261-41ec-9b49-da40e22a6f20 completed. 1 messages skipped, 0 forwarded. Total 1.

The internal FailedMessageRetries collection must be purged in order to restore retries for such messages.

  1. Upgrade to the latest ServiceControl version
  2. Ensure that currently there are no retry operations active
  3. Start the instance in Maintenance Mode
  4. Open the embedded RavenDB Management Studio
  5. Select the "FailedMessageRetries" collection in the left tree
  6. Delete all documents in the collection
  7. Stop maintenance mode

SmartScreen blocks the installer

The installer is code signed, but SmartScreen (called Windows SmartScreen, Windows Defender SmartScreen and SmartScreen Filter in different places) may classify the code signing certificate as "untrusted" and block the installer from running until permission is granted by the user.

Although the installer is code signed correctly with a certificate owned by "NServiceBus Ltd", SmartScreen will block it from running until Microsoft has built enough "trust" in the certificate. One of the main inputs to building that trust is when users grant permission to run the installer. To grant permission to run the installer, click "Run Anyway". This will no longer be required when Microsoft decides to trust the certificate.

When building ServiceControl, all build artifacts are virus scanned to ensure no viruses or malware are shipped with the installer packages.

Stale indexes

Each ServiceControl instance stores its data in a RavenDB embedded database. Indexes are used by RavenDB as way to query the documents. This indexing is done asynchronously in the background and is triggered whenever data is added or changed. The benefit of asynchronous indexing is that it allows the server to respond quickly even when large amounts of data has changed and avoids costly table scan operations.

A downside of this is that indexes are not updated immediately and can become stale. A healthy system has indexes updated in milliseconds, while a system under load can take up to several seconds to update the indexes. When indexes get very stale, the process of updating them can last for a long duration and can affect data presented and started tasks.

Systems are affected by severe index lag when the following custom check message is presented:

At least one index significantly stale. Please run maintenance mode if this custom check persists to ensure index(es) can recover. See log file in {LogPath} for more details.

A warning message is seen in the logs when the Indexing lag exceeds the default threshold value of 10,000

2023-07-03 09:41:08.4189|6|Warn|ServiceControl.CheckRavenDBIndexLag|Index [ExpiryKnownEndpointsIndex] IndexingLag 22,242 is above warning threshold (10,000). Launch in maintenance mode to let indexes catch up.

This can be resolved by launching the ServiceControl instance in maintenance mode and letting the indexes catch up. Message ingestion pauses when in maintenance mode, but the database engine still runs and messages will continue to queue. This ensures that any tasks related to index rebuilding or index scanning can run without interruption. This is useful to resolve situations where the storage isn't fast enough to do both message ingestion and index operations, such as when an unexpected spike in message processing occurred.

Consider upgrading the storage if these errors persists.

Contact Particular support for assistance.

Index errors

Index issues are usually automatically corrected at start-up time but sometimes index issues require manual intervention. When unrecoverable index issues occur the following custom check message is visible:

Detected RavenDB index errors, please start maintenance mode and resolve the following issues:

Often indexes get corrupted. Resolve these errors by inspecting the errors in ServiceControl (audit or error) maintenance mode.

Contact Particular support for assistance.

Corrupted indexes

Sometimes the following error may be observed:

Raven.Abstractions.Exceptions.IndexDisabledException: The index has been disabled due to errors


2021-03-23 09:27:50.0593|14|Warn|Raven.Database.DocumentDatabase|Could not create index batch
System.InvalidOperationException: Cannot modify indexes while indexing is in progress (already waited full minute). Try again later

This risk of these error occurring is mitigated by:

Reset selected indexes

To resolve these errors, the affected indexes must be rebuilt:

Rebuild all indexes

If many indexes are affected it may be easier to rebuild all indexes, although this can take a very long time if the database is large, and it will use a lot of CPU and storage IO capacity:

  • Stop the ServiceControl (audit or error) instance
  • Navigate to the database folder on disk
  • Delete the Indexes folder
  • Start the ServiceControl instance

High CPU utilization

If a ServiceControl instance shows high CPU utilization, it's usually due to:

  • Unclean process termination forcing ServiceControl internal database to validate indexes consistency at the next startup.
  • Rebuilding of indexes which requires all database records to be read and indexed.
  • Large messages ingestion due to a massive backlog of messages in the queue.

Usually this fixes itself over time as long as the process is not terminated. Again, do not forcibly terminate the process. Always use Windows Services, PowerShell, or the ServiceControl Management Utility to stop and start the service.


  • Ensure all the latest performance enhancements are available by having the latest version of ServiceControl installed. The most recent version is available at
  • Ensure storage disks are at least capable of 7,500 IOPS as stated in the hardware considerations for ServiceControl. If the system continuously produces messages or generates many or substantial messages (several kilobytes or larger), ServiceControl requires even faster disks than specified by the minimum requirements.
  • Ensure no custom checks shown in ServicePulse indicate index issues. The log file could indicate the type of index issues (See stale indexes, index errors, and corrupted indexes)
  • Consider disabling message bodies and headers Full-Text search as this causes most resource utilization for CPU and disk IO. This can be disabled in the latest version of ServiceControl by configuring each ServiceControl instance: open configuration (gear icon), scroll down to Advanced Configuration and set "Full-Text Search On Message Bodies" to Off, finally select Save, and then restart the instance.

Saga audit data retention custom check failure

Users who have migrated from earlier versions of ServiceControl may have historical saga audit records still in the database. This custom check will fail if there is no audit retention period set on the ServiceControl Error instance when saga audit data exists. To resolve this issue a retention period should be configured by adding:

<add key="ServiceControl/AuditRetentionPeriod" value="DD:HH:MM" />

For example, a 20-day retention period would be set as follows:

<add key="ServiceControl/AuditRetentionPeriod" value="20:00:00" />

Logs contain EsentOutOfLongValueIDsException

If ServiceControl logs contain a Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.EsentOutOfLongValueIDsException: Long-value ID counter has reached maximum value. (perform offline defrag to reclaim free/unused LongValueIDs) error similar to the following snippet, its database must be compacted.

2022-03-25 18:46:50.6564|287|Warn|ServiceControl.Audit.Auditing.AuditIngestionComponent|OnCriticalError. 'Failed to execute recoverability policy for message with native ID: `4f6d43c9-5a78-4232-8daa-6065201edeac`'
Raven.Abstractions.Connection.ErrorResponseException: Url: "/bulk_docs"
Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.EsentOutOfLongValueIDsException: Long-value ID counter has reached maximum value. (perform offline defrag to reclaim free/unused LongValueIDs)

API is slow

If the ServiceControl API is slow, the cause is usually one of the following:

Incorrect remotes configuration

An invalid value for the ServiceControl/RemoteInstances configuration setting can result in connectivity issues. Review this setting and check if the entry contains the correct host names.

This usually happens when the host name was changed. Changing the host name will not automatically update the ServiceControl/RemoteInstances setting.

  1. Launch ServiceControl Management Utility (SCMU)
  2. Scroll to the ServiceControl instance
  3. Select the installation path Browse button
  4. Open the file ServiceControl.exe.config in an editor with administrative privileges
  5. Review the ServiceControl/RemoteInstances setting for invalid host names or obsolete instances

Unreachable audit instance

Review if the listed hostname in the ServiceControl/RemoteInstances setting is reachable from the machine that hosts the ServiceControl instance. Common methods are:

  • Pinging the host
  • Opening the API url (http://localhost:33333/api/) in the browser with the same hostname as specified in the config file

Stopped audit instance

Review if all listed audit instances are running.

No destination specified for message

A missing ServiceControlQueueAddress in the configuration file for audit instances will cause the following error to be seen in the audit logs:

2023-06-20 13:38:45.4426|7|Warn|ServiceControl.Audit.Auditing.AuditPersister|Processing of message '7437b01e-32c1-4a29-9aed-f0c86ac64ebe' failed.
System.Exception: No destination specified for message: ServiceControl.Contracts.EndpointControl.RegisterNewEndpoint
   at NServiceBus.UnicastSendRouter.RouteUsingTable(IOutgoingSendContext context) in /_/src/NServiceBus.Core/Routing/UnicastSendRouter.cs:line 108

This error is caused if there is no setting for ServiceControl.Audit/ServiceControlQueueAddress. Check the audit instance config file in the audit installation path and add in the missing key value.

<add key="ServiceControl.Audit/ServiceControlQueueAddress" value="[QUEUENAMEGOESHERE]"/>

File/Folder used by another process

Sometimes the RavenDB logs could have the following errors:

System.IO.IOException: Error during flush for FailedMessageFacetsIndex ---> System.IO.IOException: The process cannot access the file 'D:\ServiceControl-Share\Particular.Servicecontrol\DB\Indexes\10\_49l.cfs' because it is being used by another process.


 2023-06-01 16:58:02.9925|8|Error|Raven.Database.DocumentDatabase|Could not initialize transactional storage, not creating database
System.InvalidOperationException: Could not write to location: C:\ProgramData\Particular\ServiceControl\Particular.servicecontrol.audit\DB\
Make sure there is  read/write permissions for this path.
Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.EsentFileAccessDeniedException: Cannot access file, the file is locked or in use
   at Microsoft.Isam.Esent.Interop.Api.JetInit(JET_INSTANCE& instance)

Such errors indicate that the file or folder is being used by another process. A symptom of this could also be high CPU usage or errors when ServiceControl is starting.

Ensure that the ServiceControl and ServiceControl Audit database directories, sub-directories, and files are excluded from any anti-virus and anti-malware real-time and scheduled scans. If there are no virus scans on the file or folder, then use Process Explorer or a similar tool to determine what other application may be opening or loading the file or folder.

Unable to connect to ServiceControl

By default, ServiceControl uses "localhost" as the hostname (Eg: http://localhost:33333/api/) to connect as anyone who can access the ServiceControl URL has complete access to the message data stored within ServiceControl. Users who try to connect to ServiceControl either using the machine name or the IP address can get the following error in the browser if the hostname is not configured correctly. Eg: Connect to http://my-machine:33333/api/

Bad Request - Invalid Hostname
HTTP Error 400. The request hostname is invalid.

The hostname can be configured via the config file 'ServiceControl/HostName' or the SCMU hostname setting.


This indicates a severe issue with the RavenDB database. To recover the database:

  1. Go to the RavenDB download page
  2. Click the Tools button to download the Voron.recover.exe tool
  3. Once downloaded, extract the archive
  4. Open an admin console (elevated to have write permissions on protected paths)
  5. Navigate to the tool folder
  6. Run
    .\Voron.Recovery.exe recover "[DBFOLDERPATH]\Databases\audit" "C:\DBRecoverFolder"

The [DBFOLDERPATH] can be found by opening SCMU and clicking on the DB Path link for the audit instance.

Folder C:\DBRecoverFolder will now contain RavenDB recovery files. Rename the original database folder to act as a backup, then start the ServiceControl audit instance again. Once started, a new and empty database will be created. To import the RavenDB recovery files into the new database:

  1. Open a browser
  2. Navigate to: http://localhost:44445
  3. Click on the "Databases" link in the bottom left of the screen
  4. Click on the database named "audit"
  5. Click on the "Tasks" icon near the top left of the screen
  6. Click on "Import data"
  7. Click "browse"
  8. Navigate to the RavenDB recovery files
  9. Select all of the recovery files to import them

Contact Particular support for assistance.

Low on storage space

ServiceControl will halt ingestion when low on storage. Capacity planning must be done initially and reviewed at regular intervals to prevent this.

To mitigate growth or not having enough storage:

  1. Mount a new disk that is larger, stop the ServiceControl instance, move the database to the new disk, adjust the drive letter or update the location in the ServiceControl configuration, and re-start instance

  2. Enlarge the storage partition if the environment supports it:

    • Expand the partition if the drive has enough storage
    • Mount a new disk and join these with the existing disk (JBOD)
  3. Lower retention and, optionally, compact database:

  4. Disable auditing on endpoints that don't require it:

  5. Use an audit filter to filter the messages to be sent to the audit queue:

  6. Setup multiple audit instances with different retention periods if retention requirements can vary between endpoints:

  7. Scale out audit storage over multiple disks and/or machines: