# Start an external program(C++)

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I would need some help on how to start an external program with my c++ program. I'm in windows VS 2005 c++ express, and a little code example that you can spare would help much. I just want to be able to do something like: string progdir = "c:\program files\program.exe" and then start that program/process with whatever the functions is called, Execute(progdir, null) or whatever it can be :). And my c++ program shall not pause or anything strange but just continue as normal.

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Take a look into ShellExecute:
 ShellExecuteHINSTANCE ShellExecute(HWND hwnd,LPCTSTR lpOperation,LPCTSTR lpFile,LPCTSTR lpParameters,LPCTSTR lpDirectory,INT nShowCmd);Opens or prints a specified file.Returns a value greater than 32 if successful, or an error value that is less than or equal to 32 otherwise. The following table lists the error values. The return value is cast as an HINSTANCE for backward compatibility with 16-bit Windows applications. 0 The operating system is out of memory or resources.ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND The specified file was not found.ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND The specified path was not found.ERROR_BAD_FORMAT The .exe file is invalid (non-Win32® .exe or error in .exe image).SE_ERR_ACCESSDENIED The operating system denied access to the specified file.SE_ERR_ASSOCINCOMPLETE The file name association is incomplete or invalid.SE_ERR_DDEBUSY The DDE transaction could not be completed because other DDE transactions were being processed.SE_ERR_DDEFAIL The DDE transaction failed.SE_ERR_DDETIMEOUT The DDE transaction could not be completed because the request timed out.SE_ERR_DLLNOTFOUND The specified dynamic-link library was not found.SE_ERR_FNF The specified file was not found.SE_ERR_NOASSOC There is no application associated with the given file name extension.SE_ERR_OOM There was not enough memory to complete the operation.SE_ERR_PNF The specified path was not found.SE_ERR_SHARE A sharing violation occurred.hwndWindow handle to a parent window. This window receives any message boxes that an application produces. For example, an application may report an error by producing a message box.lpOperationAddress of a null-terminated string that specifies the operation to perform. The following operation strings are valid: "open" The function opens the file specified by the lpFile parameter. The file can be an executable file or a document file. It can also be a folder."print" The function prints the file specified by lpFile. The file should be a document file. If the file is an executable file, the function opens the file, as if "open" had been specified."explore" The function explores the folder specified by lpFile.This parameter can be NULL. In that case, the function opens the file specified by lpFile.lpFileAddress of a null-terminated string that specifies the file to open or print or the folder to open or explore. The function can open an executable file or a document file. The function can print a document file.lpParametersIf the lpFile parameter specifies an executable file, lpParameters is an address to a null-terminated string that specifies the parameters to be passed to the application.If lpFile specifies a document file, lpParameters should be NULL.lpDirectoryAddress of a null-terminated string that specifies the default directory.nShowCmdIf lpFile specifies an executable file, nShowCmd specifies how the application is to be shown when it is opened. This parameter can be one of the following values: SW_HIDE Hides the window and activates another window.SW_MAXIMIZE Maximizes the specified window.SW_MINIMIZE Minimizes the specified window and activates the next top-level window in the z-order.SW_RESTORE Activates and displays the window. If the window is minimized or maximized, Windows restores it to its original size and position. An application should specify this flag when restoring a minimized window.SW_SHOW Activates the window and displays it in its current size and position.SW_SHOWDEFAULT Sets the show state based on the SW_ flag specified in theSTARTUPINFO structure passed to theCreateProcess function by the program that started the application. An application should callShowWindow with this flag to set the initial show state of its main window.SW_SHOWMAXIMIZED Activates the window and displays it as a maximized window.SW_SHOWMINIMIZED Activates the window and displays it as a minimized window.SW_SHOWMINNOACTIVE Displays the window as a minimized window. The active window remains active.SW_SHOWNA Displays the window in its current state. The active window remains active.SW_SHOWNOACTIVATE Displays a window in its most recent size and position. The active window remains active.SW_SHOWNORMAL Activates and displays a window. If the window is minimized or maximized, Windows restores it to its original size and position. An application should specify this flag when displaying the window for the first time.If lpFile specifies a document file, nShowCmd should be zero.You can use this function to open or explore a shell folder. To open a folder, use either of the following calls:ShellExecute(handle, NULL, path_to_folder, NULL, NULL, SW_SHOWNORMAL);orShellExecute(handle, "open", path_to_folder, NULL, NULL, SW_SHOWNORMAL);To explore a folder, use the following call:ShellExecute(handle, "explore", path_to_folder, NULL, NULL, SW_SHOWNORMAL);If lpOperation is NULL, the function opens the file specified by lpFile. If lpOperation is "open" or "explore", the function will attempt to open or explore the folder.To obtain information about the application that is launched as a result of calling ShellExecute, use ShellExecuteEx.

I know that using
system("C:\\blah.exe")
will not work for you since your app will freeze until the new process is done.

- Drew

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PROCESS_INFORMATION pi;STARTUPINFO si;string progdir = "c:\program files\program.exe";ZeroMemory(&si, sizeof(si));si.cb = sizeof(si);ZeroMemory(&pi, sizeof(pi));CreateProcess(NULL,TEXT(progdir.c_str()),NULL,NULL,FALSE,0,NULL,NULL,&si,&pi);

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