XP Services Guide

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XP Services

 Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services
 {Services manager will be shown here}

 From here you can activate or deactivate the Services that run on your PC.
A lot are useless, but some of them are 100% necessary for the system to start.
By deactivating some of them, you can get better overall performance,
more available resources and free more RAM (memory) on your PC.

If your not comfortable DISABLING some services, just set them to Manual ~ after you re-start your computer go back to Services and see which ones are started after setting them to manual ~ you could just leave them on Manual or set to Automatic ~ but remember; some services depend on other services, you can check those also, while in "Properties" under "Dependencies"

This is list of Windows XP Services that are running in the background, along with their description and     recommended settings    ~    Double-Click on Service to access Properties > Startup type:   ~

 >>>  Don't use by default these recommended settings; read all the explanations first  <<<


Alerter (DISABLE) - Announces users of administrative alerts. - Useless.

Application Layer Gateway Service (YOUR CHOICE/Manual/AUTOMATIC)
- Used for Assign Publish and Remove software services(Plug-ins). On manual, it will start only if needed. [This serivce should only be disabled if you are not running the built-in Windows firewall on any network interface and if you are not using internet connection sharing from that computer]  

Automatic Updates (YOUR CHOICE/Automatic or DISABLE) - Useless.
  Goto windowsupadate.microsoft.com for any updates.

Backgroud Intelligent Transfer Service (YOUR CHOICE/Automatic/Manual)
 - Idle network bandwidth data transfer with http 1.1 servers. . .needed for Windows Update.

ClipBook (DISABLE) - Used to store information (cut/copy/paste) and share them with other PCs.  Usually useless. [it has nothing to do with cut/copy/paste, etc. with Edit functions]

COM+ Event System (DISABLE/MANUAL) - There are almost no apps that use COM+, but on manual it will start if needed.

COM+ System Application (DISABLE/Manual) - Same as above.

Computer Browser (DISABLE) - A list with network computers. This service is not required for a stand-alone system. (If you wanna share files, it must be started.)

Cryptographic Services (YOUR CHOICE/Manual/Automatic) - Confirms the signatures of the files in Windows. ...for certification warnings, but it does not effect system stability. [needed for MS update]

DHCP Client (YOUR CHOICE/AUTOMATIC) - Gets a dynamic IP from your DHCP server.
 If you have a static IP (an IP that does not change) you can disable this service. If you use cable modems, leave it be activated. Mine's on Automatic.
[for on-line gaming]

Distributed Link Tracking (DISABLE) - Maintains links with NTFS files in your PC or a domain. Usually not required.

Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DISABLE) - Takes care of the transactions that require multiple resources. Windows works without this one, too.

DNS Client (AUTOMATIC) - Takes care of DNS names and control functions of the Active Directory domain. Needed for online. Leave it on.

Error Reporting Service (DISABLE) - Calls home to Microsoft when errors occur. LOL; disable it.

Event log (AUTOMATIC) - This allows Event Log messages from the applications to be seen in Event Viewer. This should be on; Windows can get very upset if it's turned off.

Fast User Switching Compatibility (YOUR CHOICE/AUTOMATIC) - Disable it to get win2k logon window.

Fax Service (DISABLE) - Not installed by default, so leave it that way.

FTP Publishing Service (DISABLE) - Used for having a FTP server on your network.
 (Activate it only if you really need it.)

Help and Support (DISABLE) - Resource eater. Disable it.  It will still auto-activate if you access Start->Help or press F1.

HID Input (Human Interface Device Access) (DISABLE/Automatic) - If any of your peripherals don't work,  leave it on. If all's ok, disable. [This service should remain enabled if you use user-defined hot-keys on keyboards, remote controls, etc.]

IIS Admin (DISABLE) - (Usually used with a local web server of ftp.)
HTTP SSL (Secure Socket Layer) (AUTOMATIC) - Allows HTTPS
 - needed for secure site accounts - leave on AUTOMATIC.

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service (DISABLE/MANUAL) - Used to "burn" CDs.
 Use Nero or A120% instead.

Indexing Service (DISABLE) - Super resource eater. Disable it.

Internet Connection Firewall and Internet Connection Sharing (MANUAL)
 - If you have shared internet access or shared files, leave it on, else off or manual.

ISPEC Services (DISABLE) - Enabled only for security-obsessed people.

Logical Disk Manager (MANUAL) - vital to run Disk Management MMC dynamic volume console. Useless otherwise.

Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service (DISABLE/MANUAL) - Same as above.

Message Queuing (DISABLE) - Not installed. Let it stay that way.

Message Queuing Triggers (DISABLE) - Same as above.

Messenger (DISABLE) - Send messages between clients and servers. I don't use or need it. [it's not the same as Windows MSN Messenger, so don't worry.  Now disabled by default on installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2]

MS Software Shadow Copy Provider (DISABLE) - Used with Volume Shadow Copy Service.

Net Login (DISABLE) - Used to login to a Domain Controller.

NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (DISABLE) - Security bug. Leave it disabled.

Network Connections (AUTOMATIC) - *Required for network setup.

Network DDE (DISABLE) - Don't activate it if you don't use the clipbook service.

Network DDE DSDM (DISABLE) - Same as above.

Network Location Awareness (NLA) (AUTOMATIC)
 - Used with Internet Connection Sharing

NT LM Security Support Provider (DISABLE) - Not necessary unless you use Message Queuing or a Telnet server.

Network Provisioning (MANUAL) - Manages XML files.

Performance Logs and Alerts (YOUR CHOICE/DISABLE or AUTOMATIC)
 - Gathers various performance info and logs it or activates an alert. (Leave it on Auto if your like me and like to double check it once in awhile.)

Plug and Play (AUTOMATIC) - If you change any components, this service will detect it (theoretically).

Portable Media Serial Number (DISABLE) - Gets serial numbers from connected mobile music players. Disable it if everything works fine.

Print Spooler (YOUR CHOICE) - If you have a printer: auto, else disabled.

Protected Storage (YOUR CHOICE/AUTOMATIC) - Allows saving local passwords and Autocomplete web information. Leave it on if you use autocomplete.

QoS RSVP (DISABLE) - Gets you some traffic control in a IPSEC network and for the apps that support QoS and also has an adapter that supports that.

Remote Access Auto Connection Manager (MANUAL) - Creates a connection to a program when it requires an address. Disable it if sh*t happens. Leave it manual for dial-up. 

Remote Access Connection Manager (AUTOMATIC) - Creates a network connection. 

Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (DISABLE) - Security breach. Stop it ASAP.

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) (Automatic) - *Critical* (never mess with this) Leave it on Automatic. Almost everything depends on this service.

Remote procedure Call (RPC) Locator (DISABLE/MANUAL) - data base evidence of RPC.

Remote Registry Service (DISABLE) - Security breach. Stop it ASAP. This allows other users to get access to your registry. [ Certain third-party applications utilise the Remote Registry service to modify the local machine's registry. Symantec (Norton) Anti-Virus is one such utility, mainly because they were too lazy to code up seperate installers for local and remote installations.]

Removable Storage (DISABLE/MANUAL) - Naturally this is not required but if you notice something wierd with your CD/DVD-R/RW leave it on auto.

Routing and Remote Access (DISABLE) - You'll know if you need it. Leave it disabled.

Secondary Logon (DISABLE) - Useless. Ancient remains of an obsolete service.

Security Accounts Manager (YOUR CHOICE/AUTOMATIC) - If you know more about this, let me know ~ some say security breach ~ but mine's set to Automatic.

Security Center (SP2) (AUTOMATIC) -  Monitors system security settings.

(Server (DISABLE) - If you have something shared, on, else off.)

Shell Hardware Detection (YOUR CHOICE/DISABLE) - Autoplay for memory cards.
 (Disable if you don't have memory cards.)

Smart Card (DISABLE) - If you don't have a "Smart Card" disable it.

Smart Card Helper (DISABLE) - Same as above.

SSDP Discovery Service (DISABLE) - Huge security risk (recognized by MS).

System Event Notification (DISABLE) - Used with COM+;stuff like power events or logoffs/ons (Not required.)

System Restore Service (YOUR CHOICE/Manual/AUTOMATIC) - Mine's on. Your choice. Leave it on if you have too much space to waste. j/k

Task Scheduler (YOUR CHOICE/DISABLE) - Resource eater. Turn it off.

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service (DISABLE) - If you don't use Netbios, disable it. It's also a security breach.

Telephony (AUTOMATIC or DISABLE) - On only for Dial-up. Off else.

Telnet (DISABLE) - Security breach. Disable it.

Terminal Services (YOUR CHOICE/Manual/Automatic) - Used for Fast User Switching, Remote Desktop & Remote Assistance. [should only be disabled if none of the these are in use]

Themes (YOUR CHOICE/Automatic) - Used for the pretty windows desktop things. lol

Uninterruptible Power Supply (DISABLE) - If you don't have an Uninterruptible Power Supply, turn it off.

Universal Plug and Play Device Host (DISABLE) - Security breach, but used with SSDP Discovery Service,detects and configures your UPnP devices on your network. Can be disabled.

(Upload Manager (DISABLE) - Useless. Obsolete.)

Volume Shadow Copy (DISABLE) - Unneeded. Only used by ms-backup.

Software Shadow Copy Provider Service (DISABLE) - Same as above.

Webclient (DISABLE) - Useless. Disable it.

Windows Audio (YOUR CHOICE/Automatic) - Those Windows event sounds. (If you've changed them, leave it on.)

Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) (Automatic) SP2 Firewall.

Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) (YOUR CHOICE/Manual) - Used for some Cameras/Videos.[should only be disabled if you do not have a scanner or digital camera connected to your computer]

Windows Installer (Automatic/Manual) - Used for .mis installers. You may need it. [if you ever have problems installing something ~ go here ~ you may have to start it manually]

Windows Management Instrumentation (Automatic) - I think windows requires it. Procedure Call (RPC) needs this one on.

Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extension (Automatic) - Same as above.

Windows Time (DISABLE) - Connects to a server to get correct time(just do it yourself). Small security buggie. Disable it.

Windows User Mode Driver Framework (Automatic) - Enables Windows User Mode Drivers

Wireless Zero Configuration (DISABLE) - Auto configuration for wireless devices.
 Turn off if you don't have wireless stuff.

WMI Performance Adapter (YOUR CHOICE/Manual) - don't see any use for it.
 but leave it on Manual, just in case.

Workstation (Automatic) - Leave on auto.

  . . .also, you'll have other Services running like your AV, Video Display Drivers and Printer Drivers.
                  (if you don't know what the Service is ~ it's best to leave it alone, 'till you do!)


The Elder Geek:Services Guide for Windows XP