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SSHD fails to start - not responding in a timely fashion

Hello Corinna,

I've seen your name on several posts while searching through google.  It
seems that some people have had similar problems with sshd that I have,
but I really haven't seen a solution or any indication as to why the
problems are occuring.  I'm hoping that you can help me or perhaps point
me in a direction where I can find a solution.  Let me give you some
background information on how I'm proceeding.


We have numerous sales persons at remote sites around the continent.  Each
of the sales persons have a laptop provided by our company.  As part of a
update package we're trying to install the sshd service to provide us with
a remote access point other than VNC  (something less obtrusive which we
could perform regular updates via rsync).  Working together with co-worker
I've been able to install sshd successfully on at least 4 local laptops
and even virtual machines.

After feeling confident that I have the process down and flawless, I
proceed to perform the exact same installation on one of our remote sales
laptops.  Please keep in mind that the laptop environment is built to
strict specifications and the only difference between my local test
laptops and the remote sales laptops is the fact that the remote sales
laptops are being used regularly  (we're installing on Windows 2000
Professional w/Service Pack 2).

After installing the package on the remote sales laptop, the sshd service
fails to start and returns with the Windows error:  

The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely

The end result:  run through more local testing and find that it works
fine under every test condition, including dialup to a ISP and VNC to that
laptop.  Another recent attempt on another remote sales laptop has failed
as well--same problem, no clue why, no clue what's different.

The process I'm following is more or less automated in a .CMD file, but is
based upon processes that I have performed manually.  Here's a snippet of
the .CMD relating to Cygwin:

regedit /s cygwin_env.reg
cd cyginst-laptop
start /wait setup.exe
cd ..
cp -R usr /

And following are the cygwin_env.reg and scripts that are
called within install.cmd:


"CYGWIN"="binmode ntsec tty"

"CYGWIN"="binmode ntsec tty"

"CYGWIN"="binmode ntsec tty"
cygrunsrv -I sshd -p /usr/sbin/sshd.exe -a '-D' -o
chown SYSTEM.SYSTEM /etc/ssh_host_*
cygrunsrv -S sshd

echo 'alias ls="/bin/ls -a -C -F --color=yes"'>>/etc/profile

sed "s/\/bin\/sh/\/bin\/bash/" /etc/passwd >/etc/
mv /etc/ /etc/passwd

Locally, with the .REG file, I've been able to get sshd up and running
with it applied to the Windows registry or if I skip that command
line.  The other thing that I should point right now is that the versions
of Cygwin on the laptops are older versions and the package that I'm
uploading to the laptops is the recent version of Cygwin stripped down to
the bare essentials needed for sshd  (helps minimize transfer times).  All
dependencies have been checked so that the most recent versions of all the
dependant packages are installed.

Any startup of sshd other than cygrunsrv.exe or net start yield very
little in the way of extra information and the /var/log directory has no
log file for sshd.

It's unclear as to how to fix this problem at this point and having the
laptops brought into the local lab is not feasible.  I'm hoping you can
provide some suggestions as to what to check, what to set, or what the
problem is and how to fix it.  I've tried everything including removing
cygwin completely and installing a complete recent version with properly
set environment variables  (not through .reg files, but through Windows
2000 facilities).  Any assistance you can provide will be greatly

Thanks Corinna.

Scott Mulroy
Infrastructure Technology Consultant
M-Tech Mercury Information Technology, Inc.

Phone:  (403) 233-0740 ext 228
Fax:    (403) 233-0725

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