XP system services & its functionalities –part 1!!!

 

* It is recommended that you make a backup of your registry / or use system restore
before you proceed
* Do NOT use “msconfig” to disable services, type “services.msc” in the Run box instead!
* Dont modify all services at one go. Instead, modify in small numbers, like 5 at a time
so that you can reboot and check if everythings working fine
* In case you system doesnt work properly after modifying the services, try booting up
in safe mode to: change the services back to normal, or use system restore
* You can also use the option ‘Last known good settings’ in the F8 menu to go back to
your original settings incase something goes wrong
* After adjusting your service settings, reboot your computer.

Descriptions and Recommendations:

Alerter

Microsoft Description – Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts. If the service is stopped, programs that use administrative alerts will not receive them. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Good for big brother corporate networks. Home PCs do not need to send/receive administrative alerts.
Doesent Exactly do much for hindering performance, so leave it on Manual.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

Application Layer Gateway Service

Microsoft Description – Provides support for 3rd party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing and the Internet Connection Firewall

Human Description – Good if the system is a gateway/client on a NAT LAN, also (attempts to) protect nasty script kiddies from turning you and your friends’ computers into their pawns in the quest for world domination.

XP’s Firewall is about as useful as a chocolate Teapot. Disable this service unless you are on a home LAN and use Microsoft’s Internet Connection Sharing.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Application Management

Microsoft Description – Provides software installation services such as Assign, Publish, and Remove.

Human Description – Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Best leaving this on the default setting of Manual. Rarely used but when you need it, it will be activated.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

Automatic Updates

Microsoft Description – Enables the download and installation of critical Windows updates. If the service is disabled, the operating system can be manually updated at the Windows Update Web site.

Human Description – Allows Windows XP free reign to contact the Microsoft servers and download a whole host of “critical” updates.

Most likely Windows XP will attempt this every time you are furiously playing Counter-Strike or Q3, then suddenly you wonder why you can’t hit a barn-door from 5 paces as your ping rockets to 500ms+. No thanks Bill, think I can connect to WindowsUpdate by myself…

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Background Intelligent Transfer Service

Microsoft Description – Uses idle network bandwidth to transfer data.

Human Description – A sneaky way of doing Automatic Updates – Windows XP will judge whether you are using your bandwidth or just sat there motionless looking at your screen. If not it will happily download away.

If you’re sat there idling and your modem is going bonkers downloading a host of information, the scaremongery of today will trigger a switch in your head that convinces yourself that you are being used for above said script kiddies’ plans to turn your system into a mindless zealot for world conquest. No thanks, and besides, automatic services will quash those extra 2fps in quake 3.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

ClipBook

Microsoft Description – Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers. If the service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able to share information with remote computers. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Another “exactly what it says on the tin”

Why do you want to share your random cut’n’pastes with your fellow LAN chums? Or someone who is half way around the world? If you feel this is an important contribution to your life leave it on Manual. Otherwise kill that resource eating service!

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

COM+ Event System

Microsoft Description – Supports System Event Notification Service (SENS), which provides automatic distribution of events to subscribing Component Object Model (COM) components. If the service is stopped, SENS will close and will not be able to provide logon and logoff notifications. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Kind of like a communication method between different modules in Windows. Used basically for 16 bit programs that require it.

Best leaving this to its default value of “Manual” as it is needed.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

COM+ System Application

Microsoft Description – Manages the configuration and tracking of Component Object Model (COM)+-based components. If the service is stopped, most COM+-based components will not function properly. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – If COM+ Event System is the car then this service is the driver

Best leaving this to its default value of “Manual” as it is needed.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

Computer Browser

Microsoft Description – Maintains an updated list of computers on the network and supplies this list to computers designated as browsers. If this service is stopped, this list will not be updated or maintained. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Like it says, needed to keep tracks of computers on your network.

If you’re on a LAN, leave it to manual, if you’re a standalone system then disable it.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Cryptographic Services

Microsoft Description – Provides three management services: Catalog Database Service, which confirms the signatures of Windows files; Protected Root Service, which adds and removes Trusted Root Certification Authority certificates from this computer; and Key Service, which helps enroll this computer for certificates. If this service is stopped, these management services will not function properly. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Among other things, this service authenticates WHQL drivers (i.e. for graphics cards)

I would personally set this to manual. If it’s then needed, it starts.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

DHCP Client

Microsoft Description – Manages network configuration by registering and updating IP addresses and DNS names.

Human Description – Under Windows managed networks DCHP is useful in assigning IP/DNS addresses.

I would personally set this to manual. If it’s then needed, it starts.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

*** NOTE: Some users had problems with connecting to the net, if set to manual. If you are having any such problems,
then please set it to Automatic.

Distributed Link Tracking Client

Microsoft Description – Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network domain.

Human Description – Good for (e.g.) databases that rely on networked files for updating.

Do you share files that lots of people work on? Do you even use NTFS as a home user?

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Distributed Transaction Coordinator

Microsoft Description – Coordinates transactions that span multiple resource managers, such as databases, message queues, and file systems. If this service is stopped, these transactions will not occur. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Related to Distributed Link Tracking Client

The service sounds like a job title for a pointless middle manager somewhere. For home users it’s the same story for our Distributed Transaction Coordinator; going nowhere fast.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

DNS Client

Microsoft Description – Resolves and caches Domain Name System (DNS) names for this computer. If this service is stopped, this computer will not be able to resolve DNS names and locate Active Directory domain controllers. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description –

Best leave this one automatic *cough*

Recommended for home PC – Automatic

EDIT ** >Actually it can be turned off. It just provides a caching
>DNS server locally to your PC. It can cause problems if you are using
>Dynamic, Round Robin, or any type of load balanced DNS upstream. I
>recommend you turn it off. Your PC will then always go upstream to do
>DNS rather than look in its own cache.***

** NOTE: Again, in case you are having problems connecting to the net, turn this service back to Automatic.

Error Reporting Service

Microsoft Description – Allows error reporting for services and applictions running in non-standard environments.

Human Description – When something crashes (quite frequently) and Windows pops up and advises you to tell Microsoft all about it, that is the fruit of this service’s loins

One of my pet hates, If something crashes I will scream at the monitor and stamp my feet as I please; I don’t need to tell Microsoft that I’m doing it.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Event Log

Microsoft Description – Enables event log messages issued by Windows-based programs and components to be viewed in Event Viewer. This service cannot be stopped.

Human Description – Exactly what it says on the tin

Can’t stop it, fair enough, but we can disable it muhahahahaha… unless of course you actually want to read that Internet Explorer caused a fatal exception in blah blah blah…

Recommended for home PC – Disabled
(For Multiple Users – Manual)

Fast User Switching Compatibility

Microsoft Description – Provides management for applications that require assistance in a multiple user environment.

Human Description – For home users this functions as “switch user” when the logoff option is used.

If you want it you can have it. I set it to manual.

Recommended for home PC – Manual
(For single user setup – Disabled)

Help and Support

Microsoft Description – Enables Help and Support Center to run on this computer. If this service is stopped, Help and Support Center will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Description is self-explanitory

I never use this as I suspect 90% of the people reading this don’t either.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Human Interface Device Access

Microsoft Description – Enables generic input access to Human Interface Devices (HID), which activates and maintains the use of predefined hot buttons on keyboards, remote controls, and other multimedia devices. If this service is stopped, hot buttons controlled by this service will no longer function. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – If you have one of those fancy keyboards or other peripherals mentioned above then this allows you to use them in Windows.

I dream of fancy keyboards and remote controls, but at least I can disable this service (Obviously don’t if you are fancy)

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service

Microsoft Description – Manages CD recording using Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI). If this service is stopped, this computer will be unable to record CDs. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Controls the in-built CD-burning software in XP

If you don’t use the in-built software then disable the service. Incidentally disabling this makes NERO Burning ROM open quicker.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Indexing Service

Microsoft Description – Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.

Human Description – Works like an advanced search feature. This can search through files and index keywords for rapid searching.

Thanks, but no thanks. If I want to search I will use the “dog feature”.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) / Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

Microsoft Description – Provides network address translation, addressing, name resolution and/or intrusion prevention services for a home or small office network.

Human Description – Related to Application Layer Gateway Service

Set this to the same as Application Layer Gateway Service

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

IPSEC Services

Microsoft Description – Manages IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP security driver.

Human Description – Authenticates hosts before transfer of data, Encryption of IP traffic, Prevention of reply attacks

After testing I would set this to Manual.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

IPv6 Internet Connection Firewall

Microsoft Description – Provides intrusion prevention service for a home or small office network.

Human Description – Useful in case you have a network and connected to the net, and you dont have any other firewall

Recommended for home PC – Manual

Logical Disk Manager

Microsoft Description – Detects and monitors new hard disk drives and sends disk volume information to Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service for configuration. If this service is stopped, dynamic disk status and configuration information may become out of date. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Updates records to do with hard disk volumes.

Leaving something to download overnight only to return and find you didn’t have enough space? I’m sure you will slap your head and think to yourself, “Why did I disable the Logical Disk Manager?”.

Recommended for home PC – Automatic

Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service

Microsoft Description – Configures hard disk drives and volumes. The service only runs for configuration processes and then stops.

Human Description – Related to Logical Disk Manager

As it is infrequently used, set to manual.

Recommended for home PC – Manual

Messenger

Microsoft Description – Transmits net send and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. This service is not related to Windows Messenger. If this service is stopped, Alerter messages will not be transmitted. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Allows network administrators the ability to pop a little prompt on your screen with information.

Although hilarious for the first 25 seconds in forcing your non-computer literate friends to think their machine has been hacked into this service is pretty much pointless.

Incidentally the command to pop-up a prompt on someones screen is “net send [computername] I know where you live” (or some other intimidating message). Enjoy your 25 seconds of fun…

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

MS Software Shadow Copy Provider

Microsoft Description – Manages software-based volume shadow copies taken by the Volume Shadow Copy service. If this service is stopped, software-based volume shadow copies cannot be managed. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Like the man said, it allows shadow copying.

Set to disabled unless you want your shadow copy service to control your life.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

Net Logon

Microsoft Description – Supports pass-through authentication of account logon events for computers in a domain.

Human Description – Domain Authentication[/b]

If you’re a home user you probably won’t have a domain. Disable this service and free up that memory.

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing

Microsoft Description – Enables an authorized user to access this computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet. If this service is stopped, remote desktop sharing will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description –

Why use the bloated netmeeting when VNC does it about 10 times faster and is free?

Recommended for home PC – Disabled

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