What’s your suggestion for running processes…

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by sweater, Nov 8, 2005.

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  1. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Installing and using Autoruns and Process Explorer I learned that I have a total of 47 running processes everytime I start my pc. Reading on some threads here, some was just running 26 processes in their pc. I was then wondering how they did it, coz if that’s the case then I have to disable several of my protection softwares to minimize the number of those running processes. And it also means that my protections will decrease. But, I know that it’s not only my real-time protection that adds the loads of my pc.
    Using Autoruns (sysinternals.com), I couldn’t really figure out what should be I’ve must disabled and what should not, coz I’m afraid that I might touch the wrong things and cause my pc to malfunctions but I know that some of it should be disabled. :doubt:

    Autoruns and Process Explorer help files weren’t detailed enough for novice users. :(

    What processes that I could possibly disabled that you can suggest… o_O especially for beginners and non-technos? :rolleyes:
     
  2. SpikeyB

    SpikeyB Registered Member

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    It's not just startup entires you want to look at. You can reduce the number of running processes by disabling some unecessary services.

    Take a look here about what the services do and see if you can disable any: http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm
     
  3. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    The problem is that this area is extremely unsafe for anyone other than an expert to play with. I'd never advise a novice user to attempt to make changes to the start-up files and running processes since one wrong change can totally destroy a working Windows installation.

    By all means ask for help with specific processes and start-up entries, but even that carries a risk unless they are considered along with everything else in the list.

    Why reduce the number of background tasks anyway, if your PC is running OK? You also need to get a balance between usability and protection - if your security is 100% yet the PC is running like an arthritic tortoise, it's time to ask the question "Why do I have a PC?" and make sure your answer is catered for in the consideration for the need for security.

    As always, all things in moderation and always have a balanced view.
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hi,
    How much RAM do you have?
    Do you feel any effect of those running processes on your everyday work?
    Mrk
     
  5. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    Here are data bases where you can get info on startups/processes.

    http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm

    http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/system/

    http://www.windowsstartup.com/wso/search.php

    Do you use System Restore? Do you use Drive Imaging? If you're afraid to experiment, perhaps the reason is you don't have confidence in backtracking. I suggest that if you want control of your system, the first step in that is to aquire the ability to go back to square one and start again.

    Regards - Charles
     
  6. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    I use 256MB RAM. I'm not using many applications... but sometimes there are some kind of slowdowns.. or slow loading, and sometimes during surfing if multiple browsers were open it hangs a second. But... it didn't really affects the overall pc performance, but still, I would like to know what I can be possibly disabled and what should not be. :rolleyes:
     
  7. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    It is not really the number of running processes that should be the deciding factor as the reason to start disabling process . But if the processes running are really detracting from the performance of your computer. I have 35 processes running with no noticible performance loss so disabling processes is a non problem. If there is a performance loss it may benefit you to see if you can disable a few processes.
     
  8. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Ok, I'm going to disagree a bit with the conventional wisdom. Most people will say that the number of processes doesn't really matter and will say that if you have the memory it should be ok, yada, yada... They will point to the fact that if you pull up Task Manager, even if they have something like 45+ processes on their system, they will still show a low CPU utilization and most of the processes showing very little activity. While it may be true that most of these processes are largely in a "wait state" waiting for some event (timer, input, file access, incoming/outgoing packets, whatever) and not actively consuming mass quantities of CPU cycles; there, nevertheless, is quite a few insidious problems associated with excessive numbers of processes:
    • Processes, of course, consume memory and can lead to excessive pagefile swapping that isn't entirely predictable (so some may think that there isn't much slow down for their most frequently used apps, yet often there is a long load time or unexpected occassional slowdowns associated with other apps... which the uninitiated may just blame on those particular apps). The virtual memory manager is actually pretty effective and can often mask or disguise just how bad your memory situation is until things just totally reach the breaking point.

    • Processes consume internal kernel resources such as timers, mutexes, object handles, file handles, process tracking/scheduling structures, etc. This isn't a huge problem, but it does place additional burdens on the kernel and the scheduler.

    • Processes present a greater "attack surface". The more processes you have, the more possible bugs, open ports, and security risks you likely present.

    • Processes present more avenues for incompatibilities. It's like most anything, the more balls in the air, the more complicated it is to keep them all from falling to the ground.

    • But, worst of all, in my experience whenever someone has an excessive number of processes, it usually is because of sloppy coded apps, apps with delusions of grandieur that think they really need to be resident all of the time when they don't, and/or spyware and malware. Excessive process counts tend to indicate larger problems associated with people just installing largely unneeded apps and not really paying attention to what is running in the background.
    Therefore, I believe everyone should educate themselves with excellent tools like Process Explorer and Autoruns -- just as you have -- and that they should become keenly aware of what is running on their system. Occassionally clearing the deadwood is an unfortunate part of running a Windows system (actually I would argue any system, but it just seems that Windows developers tend to be the worst culprits because Microsoft has often encourage a lax do-what-you-want-attitude in the past).

    How then do you decide what is important? Well, the best place to begin is to look at Process Explorer and make sure the "Company Name" column is shown. Until you become very proficient, I would ignore all of the Microsoft Corporation entries. Nine times out of ten they should be there and often have to be there for your system to run. Yes, Microsoft sometimes provides some unneeded processes and unneeded overhead, but that is a more nuanced decision making process (although I believe others have pointed out some links to sites that discuss what Microsoft-supplied background Services are worthwhile and which aren't).

    In any event, focus on the non-Microsoft entries. Virtually by definition, almost 100% of these are not absolutely critical to system operation and won't just automatically crash the system if they aren't there. They provide additional functionality, true. Often highly desired additional functionality, but you needn't be deathly afraid that your system will totally blow up on you if they aren't there, especially if you don't recognize the company name or process description as being anything you may value. In fact, you can often just highlight a line in Process Explorer, hit the delete key, kill the process and see what happens. Windows itself will usually prevent you from killing system critical processes and, unlike in Autoruns, changes made in Process Explorer aren't really carried over on reboot. So don't be that afraid to play around here. Investigate what each process is. Google company names and process names until you feel like you know what each is doing. Yes, you may still want or need that antivirus program and/or antitrojan program; but perhaps you really don't care about that little doo-dad that tracks some largely meaningless thing that you just download from the 'net while on a lark. Or maybe you want that anti-trojan or anti-spyware program, but you don't care about the resident portion and only want it to function as an on-demand scanner? Perhaps you don't really need Adobe to pre-load a bunch of their reader app, just so it might load quicker on the off-chance you read PDFs all the time. Same with Quicktime. Etc. Etc.

    Once you investigate and learn through Process Explorer, then you can begin to use Autoruns to turn things off permanently (between reboots). Again, select the "Hide Microsoft entries" options so you can begin by focusing in on 3rd party resident apps. This is a long post, so I won't go into it; nor could I really explain all of the nuances, but don't be quite afraid of blowing up your system as some may lead you to believe. Just don't make the changes directly in RegEdit unless you know exactly what you are doing; but tools like Autoruns usually provide a fairly easy mechanism to restore something in case you do make a mistake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
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