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Windows Vista Service Tweak Guide


Menion
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Windows Vista Services Tweak Guide v1.0

This guide is only recommended for power users. Inexperienced Windows users should NOT use this. It's also recommended that you have in-depth knowledge about network security. The guide is meant to be used with Windows Vista RTM build 6000.

Beware: Disabling some of the services below may have a negative impact on your system/network security. I take no responsibility what so ever of any negative consequences these tweaks may have on your system, hardware or life. Use on your own risk.

Disable the following services to improve performance and decrease RAM usage:

Base Filtering Engine

Disable if you don't use the Windows Firewall

Diagnostic Policy Service

Distributed Link Tracking Client

Function Discovery Provider Host

Function Discovery Resource Publication

Human Interface Device Access

Disable if you don't use/need hotkeys on your keyboard.

IKE and AuthIP IPSec Keying Modules

Disable to improve network performance and decrease RAM usage.

Disabling will have a negative impact on network security.

Internet Connection Sharing

Disable if you don't need to share your internet connection.

IP Helper

Disable to improve network performance and decrease RAM usage.

Will also disable IPv6 connectivity over IPv4. Might be useful in the future.

IPSec Policy Agent

Disable to improve network performance and decrease RAM usage.

Disabling will have a negative impact on network security.

KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator

Disable if you don't use MSDTC and/or KTM.

Messenger Sharing Folders USN Journal Reader service

This service is only available if Messenger Live is installed.

Disable if you don't use Messenger Live's sharing folders.

Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider

Disable if you don't use MS Shadow Copy.

Disabling will have a negative impact on system redundancy.

Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service

Disable if you don't use the Net.Tcp protocol (from .NET framework).

Disabling will make .NET applications using this protocol not to function properly.

Network List Service

Disable if you aren't connected to a LAN with multiple computers or if you don't share files or printers through your LAN.

Network Location Awareness

Disable if you aren't connected to a LAN with multiple computers or if you don't share files or printers through your LAN.

Offline Files

Disable if you only use local profiles and aren't connected to a domain.

Portable Device Enumerator Service

Disable if you don't need to syncronize data with removable storage (such as mp3 players. This will not affect third party applications such as iTunes, only applications using this service, e.g. Windows Media Player).

Program Compatibility Assistant Service

Disable if you don't care about compatibility issues. (Running applications in compatibility mode will still function.)

ReadyBoost

Disable if you don't use this feature.

Remote Access Connection Manager

Disable if you don't use dial-up connections and/or VPN-networks.

Routing and Remote Access

Disable if you don't need to route network data within a LAN or WAN.

Secondary Logon

Disable if you don't need to login two users at once.

Security Center

Disable if you can take care of the system security manually.

Server

Disable if you don't share files and/or printers through LAN.

Shell Hardware Detection

Disable to remove autoplay functionality on removable media.

SL UI Notification Service

Disable. You can manually run this if it's needed for activation or other software licensing issues.

Tablet PC Input Service

Disable if you don't have a Tablet PC.

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

Disable. Totally useless if you don't use NetBIOS (NetBT).

Telephony

Disable if you don't use dial-up connections.

Terminal Services

Disable if you don't use Remote Desktop.

Disabling will improve system security.

UPnP Device Host

Disable if you don't need to host UPnP devices.

WebClient

Windows Defender

Disable if you don't want to use it. Though, consider using third party anti-malware application if you disable it.

Windows Error Reporting Service

Disable if you don't use error reporting.

Windows Firewall

Disable if you don't use the Windows Firewall. Though, consider using third party firewall (hardware, software or router w/ firewall).

Windows Image Aquisition (WIA)

Disable if you don't use a scanner and/or digital cameras.

Windows Media Center Extender Service

Disable if you don't use Media Center extensions.

Windows Search

Disable if you don't want to use the advanced windows search feature with indexing (Normal search will still function, but is alot slower).

Windows Time

Disable if you don't want the clock to syncronize automatically. Waste of resources. Update clock manually.

WinHTTP WebProxy Auto-Discovery Service

Disable if you don't use applications which use the WPAD protocol (most applications don't). Manually enable if you need it.

Virtual Disk

Set as manual if you don't use Disk Management in the Computer Management console.

You can manually start this service at any time if you need to use Disk Management.

Volume Shadow Copy

Disable if you don't use MS Shadow Copy.

Disabling will have a negative impact on system redundancy.

If you don't use the Aero theme disable the following services:

Application Experience

Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

If you don't use themes at all, disable the following services:

Application Experience

Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

Windows Themes

Ok, that's all so far. If you have anything to add, just post a reply!

Constructive feedback and criticism is also welcome. ;)

Request to be pinned!

Edited by Menion
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My own personal views, opinions, and experiences with, some of these are:

Diagnostic Policy Service (part of the performance tuning foundation for Vista don't disable but you can set to manual)

Base Filtering Engine (not just for the firewall, it doesn't hurt to have it enabled. If you want to disable the firewall then do it in the GUI. Actually, once you get the hang of the Vista firewall its pretty neat and useful - its just hard to configure until you get used to it.)

IKE and AuthIP IPSec Keying Modules (disabling these doesn't do squat for improving network performance and decreasing RAM usage - another windows urban myth is born. However, if your on systems that use these things they are necessary. If your not on systems that use them they don't do anything at all and there is no impact on performance)

Human Interface Device Access (don't disable if you dont use accessability features. It doesn;t imapct anything at all if you haven;t set up any accessability features.)

IP Helper (disable IPv6 in the connection if you need to but don't disable this service)

Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service (if you disable this, parts of browsers and mail clients may not work correctly)

ReadyBoost (no need to disable, does not impact performance and only works if you have the right device to use eg...USB key. Set to manual instead)

SL UI Notification Service (i'd leave this set to automatic. Aside from the visible activation there is also the not so visible validation requirements)

Tablet PC Input Service (yeah, if you don't have a tablet PC then disable, but if you want to use some of the tablet PC stuff on your PC like the snipping tool for example then don't disable)

UPnP Device Host (yep, disable. However, if your going to use MCE then this might need to work.)

Volume Shadow Copy (I wouldn't disable it)

Virtual Disk (personally, i'd leave it to automatic, it does more than just interface with the management console, but it also doesn't hurt to have it set to manual)

Application Experience (not just for themes but it sure seems like it - doesn't hurt to have automatic)

Desktop Window Manager Session Manager (not just for themes but it sure seems like it - doesn't hurt to have automatic)

Personally though, all together, I wouldn't disable any service at all. They are there for a reason, and should be left alone. If they are causing such a big impact on your computers performance then there are probably areas of your computer you should tune up or beef up in some way like adding memory for example which will be of more benefit then disabling a service to compensate for the very little these services occupy.

Edited by Spooky
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Personally though, all together, I wouldn't disable any service at all. They are there for a reason, and should be left alone. If they are causing such a big impact on your computers performance then there are probably areas of your computer you should tune up or beef up in some way like adding memory for example which will be of more benefit then disabling a service to compensate for the very little these services occupy.

I've followed the guide myself, and my computer run so much better. I decreased RAM usage from about 480 to 330 after fresh startup. And that's noticeable. That's only from disabling services btw.

Leave the services alone people. They're there for a reason.

Yikes. Against any tweaking at all? :)

Well. ALOT of the services in Vista and XP aren't even used by us mortals, so why should they be enabled per default?

I don't want to waste resources on stuff I don't use and never will. And that's pretty understandable, isn't it?

Tweaking services is the same as overclocking. There's a risk, but it's worth the performance gain. :)

Edited by Menion
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Leave the services alone people. They're there for a reason.

ive tweaked my other machine (xp) which is only for music making to work with only in 9-10 services... so you say that i should restore them just because they are there for reason? :rolleyes:

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Leave the services alone people. They're there for a reason.
Just ignore him he's been like that in the XP forum too :}

Getting back on-topic, I'd like to see some screenshots of the task manager showing how many processes are running and how much RAM it's all using. I heard stock was ~70 processes?

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thanks a lot guys :)

I'd already disabled all the obvious ones that pretty much carried over from XP, but the list is quite helpful :)

Has Nuhi already got this info? I presume so :)

Warranty's are there for a reason.. doesn't stop me poking around with my hardware ;)

I tweak, therefore I am :P

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Leave the services alone people. They're there for a reason.

Everyone has replied to this comment up to now so I might as well too...

"They're there for a reason."

Yeah to be turned off because they use RAM. :yes:

I did a bit of an experiment - exported the whole Services hive, replaced

"Start"=dword:00000002 with "Start"=dword:00000003 and you

know what... it actually didn't make much difference in the RAM usage at all,

but there were a few errors here and there though.

In VMware with Vista you can power it off and adjust the RAM down

to 224Mb (no less) then boot it up again and it uses less than 150Mb

RAM. Sounds impossible, sounds like a joke, but its true... if you have

VMware and Vista, try it. It runs pretty smooth on 224Mb RAM too!

Edited by LeveL
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"480 to 330"

Considering that with all of the default services running they only take up, at the most, 50 MB or less of memory. Where did the other 100 MB go?

Personally though, all together, I wouldn't disable any service at all. They are there for a reason, and should be left alone. If they are causing such a big impact on your computers performance then there are probably areas of your computer you should tune up or beef up in some way like adding memory for example which will be of more benefit then disabling a service to compensate for the very little these services occupy.

I've followed the guide myself, and my computer run so much better. I decreased RAM usage from about 480 to 330 after fresh startup. And that's noticeable. That's only from disabling services btw.

Leave the services alone people. They're there for a reason.

Yikes. Against any tweaking at all? :)

Well. ALOT of the services in Vista and XP aren't even used by us mortals, so why should they be enabled per default?

I don't want to waste resources on stuff I don't use and never will. And that's pretty understandable, isn't it?

Tweaking services is the same as overclocking. There's a risk, but it's worth the performance gain. :)

Edited by Spooky
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Guys, I gota go with Spooky and Tarun on this. Yes disabling "things" will help performance on some low-resource machines but it needs to be done far more surgically and with a much greater understanding of how the services interact and what they actually do.

Consider, the above mentioned (as useless) Windows Time Service which keeps your computers clock synchronized with a predetermined time server. Is that really useless? Not if your on a domain. If your system clock skews more that 5min (by default) from the servers clock, you will be locked-out of Everything including LocalMachine!

Disabling the IKE service will (most likely) go unnoticed right up until you try to connect to a VPN (yes that even includes a 3rd party VPN Client) the connection will quite transparently fail ... leaving you on the phone with Tech Support for about 100yrs trying to figure out why.

Etc. etc. etc...

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Consider, the above mentioned (as useless) Windows Time Service which keeps your computers clock synchronized with a predetermined time server. Is that really useless? Not if your on a domain. If your system clock skews more that 5min (by default) from the servers clock, you will be locked-out of Everything including LocalMachine!
Your machine would have to have a horridly inaccurate clock for it to drift that far off, or it's time to replace the CMOS battery.

Even the cheapest quartz watches gain or lose an average of 0.5s per day. Assuming that the skew is always in one direction (highly inconcievable), to lose or gain 5 minutes would take 600 days. In practice the skew reverses direction frequently and never in one direction for more than 600 days, so the CMOS battery would probably need replacement long before the time drifts far enough to become a problem.

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This guide wasn't meant for you tweak services haters...

As I clearly stated, you do it on your own risk. I gained a lot of performance and decreased Vista's RAM usage considerably, so what's wrong is wanting to share that experience and knowledge with the rest of the community?

Come on. Get a room!

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Consider, the above mentioned (as useless) Windows Time Service which keeps your computers clock synchronized with a predetermined time server. Is that really useless? Not if your on a domain. If your system clock skews more that 5min (by default) from the servers clock, you will be locked-out of Everything including LocalMachine!

Disabling the IKE service will (most likely) go unnoticed right up until you try to connect to a VPN (yes that even includes a 3rd party VPN Client) the connection will quite transparently fail ... leaving you on the phone with Tech Support for about 100yrs trying to figure out why.

Etc. etc. etc...

Seems to me that you have to be a corporate user for these services .

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You said in your original post: "Constructive feedback and criticism is also welcome"

So...thats what you got. No one hates tweaking services, but in line with your own post people offered their comments as well. Theres nothing wrong with what you shared, anyone thats willing to share information to help others isn't doing anything wrong. Anything posted on the internet will at some point or another be commented upon in ways the original poster may not have expected. I'm sure someone will put the information you posted to good use.

This guide wasn't meant for you tweak services haters...

As I clearly stated, you do it on your own risk. I gained a lot of performance and decreased Vista's RAM usage considerably, so what's wrong is wanting to share that experience and knowledge with the rest of the community?

Come on. Get a room!

I don't think he's talking about individual client computers. I think he's talking about networks where all systems need to be sync'd together for time.

Consider, the above mentioned (as useless) Windows Time Service which keeps your computers clock synchronized with a predetermined time server. Is that really useless? Not if your on a domain. If your system clock skews more that 5min (by default) from the servers clock, you will be locked-out of Everything including LocalMachine!
Your machine would have to have a horridly inaccurate clock for it to drift that far off, or it's time to replace the CMOS battery.

Even the cheapest quartz watches gain or lose an average of 0.5s per day. Assuming that the skew is always in one direction (highly inconcievable), to lose or gain 5 minutes would take 600 days. In practice the skew reverses direction frequently and never in one direction for more than 600 days, so the CMOS battery would probably need replacement long before the time drifts far enough to become a problem.

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