Questions on services (Windows XP SP2)

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by tepe2, Mar 9, 2008.

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  1. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I dont use applications for system hardening, I try to do this manually. So far I have disabled most of the services considered "safe" to disable on this page: Black Viper. Theres a column for "Power User" too, but I think I will leave most of them as default.

    I know it is individual which services people need running, but I would like your opinion on disabling some of them, not just for security but also convenience:

    Security Center - if I disable this I will get no warning if my AV or FW is not running. You think its safe or not?

    Shell Hardware Detection - autoplay of CD-drives etc. Any issues/inconvenience?

    System Event Notification
    Wireless Zero Configuration
    COM+ Event System
    COM+ System Application

    Distributed Link Tracking Client - maintains links between NTFS files within a computer. Dont know if I get this right. On my desktop I have a shortcut to an OpenOffice file located in another partition. The shortcut will not work if service is disabled?

    Performance Logs and Alerts - if this service is stopped, performance information will not be collected. BV says:
    This may be a super geek tool, but I feel that the overhead associated with it is not worth the benefit. You decide.
    A list of which services are able to be monitored is coming soon.

    Remote Access Auto Connection Manager and
    Remote Access Connection Manager - I have broadband and router so no issues disabling these two? What is your experience?

    Removable Storage - BV says: Used for managing removable media and backup services. Disable this service if you do not have items like tape backup devices, etc. If your CD ROM / DVD drive starts acting funny, (no auto play, etc) place this service into Automatic. Normally, this service does not need to be running and you will not miss any of its functionality. What is your experience? (I have things like memory sticks, CD/DVD, usb/firewire hdd, camera etc.)

    SSDP Discovery Service - I dont think I want to disable this one because I am afraid some external devices will not function. BV advice to disable for security reason. The problem that I have found with this service is that it broadcasts UDP port 1900 "a lot." If you notice plenty of network activity even though nothing is happening, this service is sometimes the cause. Any opinion?
     
  2. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    I don,t like to mess with most of them. I have changed just a few( putting them on demand instead of disabling) like security centre, auto-update, indexing service etc that I know for sure that I don,t need.

    I don,t like to be in troubles if I disable a service today and after 6 months somehow I use some software/ windows builtin feature that needs this service and I will not be knowing where is the problem.

    IMO gain is little and u might get a lot of problem sometime in future.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
     
  4. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    There is probably no performance gain to be achieved by disabling,as the services generally dont seem to run in any case unless required.,even if set to auto.
    Task manager will verify this.
    If in doubt,set to manual, but I have found even this setting is sometimes enough to not start a service which should have been set at auto.
    The only ones I set to disabled are the paranoia- possible security risks-remote desktop-registry-routing remote access-net meeting remote,plus a few other obviously useless ones which are irrelevant.
    Backup before alterations,or at least write down what is being done
     
  5. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Yes I have this in mind.

    I use disk imaging tool and I write down changes in a text file. So when I have to restore an image I know about the changes done.

    If others have comments on one or more of the 12 services listed in post #1 please feel free to post :)
     
  6. Firebytes

    Firebytes Registered Member

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    I have tweaked my services list quite a bit on both of my computers, mostly based on how I use my computer, BV's advice and by double checking some of his recommendations on other sites. I have yet to have a problem (knock on wood) but you must know in what ways you plan to use your computer, etc. as some people will need services that others won't. There are many services that I believe I will never use so I see no need in them running. If you are unsure about disabling any service; then as has been stated just leave it set at default. You probably won't notice much of a difference in resource usage. If nothing else you could just disable the ones known to be possible security problems such as UPnP.
     
  7. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Of those services I have removed (or disabled):

    Distributed Link Tracking Client
    Performance Logs and Alerts
    Remote Access Auto Connection Manager (my dhcp dsl still works)
    Remote Access Connection Manager (my dhcp dsl still works)
    Removable Storage
    Security Center
    SSDP Discovery Service
    System Event Notification
    Wireless Zero Configuration

    If your computer isnt part of a domain, it doesnt concern you. You can safely disable it and your shortcuts will still work.
     
  8. swami

    swami Registered Member

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  9. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    I stop quite a few in that no errors are shown in Event Viewer.

    I think the perfectDisk and Windows dfragger need DCOM.

    Task Scheduler is needed for Prefectching to work properly.
     
  10. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    I have under 10 running in Windows XP SP3. Next testing Vista and try to do that same.
     
  11. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    If i may just add a word of caution when disabling services. Do make sure that you check the dependences box to see what you are about to disable depends on as failure to do so can compromise your system in certain circumstances
     
  12. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    If memory serves me correctly leave the 2 Com+ services as they are. Can cause BIG problems if changed from the default. And it is not as simple as going back in and resetting them. :p Do`t ask me how I know :oops:
     
  13. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    I hate messing with the services, I check the dependencies..disable one. A month later I have to re enable the same service.
     
  14. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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  15. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Yes, BlackViper's website is very informative. I too have followed his Services advice with success and with noticeable performance improvemen. :thumb:

    The extent of performance-improvement that anyone will notice after disabling uneccesary services largely depends on your CPU/RAM configuration. Obviously, those with faster CPUs and lots of RAM will not realize as much improvement as those of us with older CPUs and <1GB RAM.
     
  16. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    I have Core Duo laptop with 2GB ram and the performance improvement is HUGE. Computer boot and shutdown faster. Response time is quicker and of course ram/cpu usage is lower.
     
  17. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Thanks to all of you :) I find this very helpful.

    Firebytes, thanks.

    WSFuser,
    Clear answer to one of my questions, thanks.

    Swami - 9 services :thumb: Nice to know it works for you, that give me more confidence, but Im going to be much more careful myself :D

    Franklin - valuable info, thanks. I guess JKDefrag will also need DCOM if other defraggers do.

    Nick,
    Thanks, I do check those boxes and if somethings goes wrong and for some reason I am not able to change back, I have BING. Without a reliable imaging tool I dont think I would be that keen on disabling services.

    ThunderZ thanks, I may just leave COM+ services as default.

    Carver,
    I have experienced this once :D But I learn from it :D

    Mike, thanks, and please let us know how it turnes out on Vista when testing done.

    Appster,
    Appster and Mike, I can only tell you about my own experience. I have AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 2 GB RAM. I did see a big difference after disabling some services. Boot and shutdown much faster. Maybe it also depends on which services you disable. I may be wrong but I think disabling System Restore and Indexing Service helps a lot.

    Time for me to do my testing and make my own decision. Disabling as many as possible is not a goal for me. Better safe than sorry. From what I have read in your replies I think I will disable some but not all of the 12 services in my first post. I will probably disable Security Center, Wireless Zero Configuration, Distributed Link Tracking Client. I keep the two COM+ services. Have to think some more about the rest.
     
  18. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Something I always do on a new system. I have no idea what other services I could safely remove but these 2 get the chop straight off.
     
  19. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Of the ones you listed i only use 3 of them.
    shell hardware detection
    system event notification
    com+ event system

    I'm an average user and i don't find any problems disabling the others.
     
  20. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello

    I personally find this useless. If my security software is not working, I'll fix the error or change the software. I don't need a popup to remind me that my software is not working, as I know for certain that it is.

    I have found that some of my resource monitoring graphs will not work when COM+ is disabled. So I have it on automatic, but I do have a slimmed down snapshot of XP which I use to test software where I set COM+ to disabled.

    I still have it on manual but so far (year or 2) nothing ever started this one.

    Autoplay of drives could be harmful indeed, a malicious file could be sneaked in your PC as autorun.exe from say a thumb drive (or a CD) as soon as you plug it in. I don't know if this is just a PoC, but none the less...
    On the other hand, DVD/DivX/AudioCD discs may not (and will not) autorun without SHD. You need to start them manually.

    It will also (on NTFS) maintain a shortcut target if the target folder is moved from the original location. Whether you need this or not is up to you.

    For a sysadmin monitoring/managing a LAN, this may be essential, but for a typical home PC it is not needed.
    In a networked applications environment (where several apps work together), it will monitor the availability of hosts (instead of networked apps doing this themselves) thus making the environment more efficient.

    I have this disabled as I never had wireless. So I don't know if this is needed with wireless routers, it may be for some (older) types.

    I had this service on manual for months. Nothing ever started it, and all devices (CDs, thumb-drives) worked. I disabled it, no side-effects.

    This service will simply search to open ports on your router (NAT) per application request (UPnP), and pretty much without your consent. I prefer to open these manually so I have always had SSDP (and UPnP) disabled. SSDP does broadcast "a lot" and this is also something I will not have on my PC.

    Cheers,
     
  21. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Dont want to be the proverbial wet blanket :) -but just spent an hour going through all the services-disabling the obviously uneccessary ones relating to non Windows services not anymore used-then I set virtually all the services as recommended by BV under Power User.

    All I can say I noticed no appreciable gain-if there was any it was too small to notice.

    I am not doubting that others have made real gains -but Appster was correct-in a powerful system changing the settings may not make any appreciable difference.

    For me the settings usage are more security related like disabling the Remote Procedure services .

    edit-should read Remote Access not RP
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  22. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    It is not just performance gain that could be the benefit here. You can also close a fair number of ports if you're not using their services and improve your security, lower the grinding of your hard disk (Indexing Service) thus prolonging its life and making it cooler, save some RAM for apps that really need it, save CPU power, etc.
    Above all, I personally find it difficult to accept running of some stuff/processes that I never use.

    EDIT:

    I would not recommend disabling RPC.
     
  23. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Nick

    Mistake-should have said Remote Access,Smart Card etc-RPC is on Auto.

    Thats what I'm saying-all my changes are non performance related-like turning off SysRestore-Indexing Services etc etc.
    Obviously useless ones are disabled.

    The dependencies are the problem unless you really know the answers-for example since playing around,my scanner software may need reloading, a local area connection active icon has appeared from nowhere and I cant logon to Outlook.

    Caution before using the Power User settings-backup first!!

    Do you know How the Properties-Recovery works-on some of the dubious ones disabled-I have set First Failure-Restart the Service.

    To me this is almost like setting to Manual o_O

    Hairy
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  24. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Setting a service to "disabled" on "general" tab overrides settings in all other tabs, if I got your question right.
    otoh, "manual" or " disabled" is practically the same.

    BTW, I found this "restarting" from "recovery" tab of very little help if any. I had a few (various) 3rd party services that failed to start on boot (last being InJoy firewall 4), and "recovery" options never helped. There was always some glitch preventing the service from starting globally (I do not know what the heck is the matter with InJoy yet).

    Cheers,
     
  25. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Here are a few more links that may help you compare advice given. I used all of them when choosing which services to disable. Also, don't do what I did and disable all of them at once. I got lucky and only had to turn a few of them back on. It could have been much worse. Make sure to take really good notes and enjoy your learning experience. Happy tweaking :).

    http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm
    http://www.tweakhound.com/xp/security/page_3.htm
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=896115&postcount=44
    http://www.firewallleaktester.com/wwdc.htm This is a fine Security Tool.

    If your looking for a little bit more speed. Try 'Step-4 Tweaks', 1. Visual Effects and 4. Disable Windows Sounds. The whole article is interesting though. I had to take these steps when I only had 512MB RAM -128MB for video on my Athlon 64 3200+. http://home.comcast.net/~SupportCD/OptimizeXP.html
     
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