Improving performance and security by disabling unneeded services

I recently ran across a Web site that described a procedure to remove numerous unneeded services from Windows XP in order to produce a more reliable, faster and more secure operating system. At first I was skeptical, but after trying out the recommendations, I have to say that I am more than impressed.

The site is:

    Requires Free Membership to View


Here you'll find a fairly detailed discussion of the various services that are installed and operational by default on Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. There are approximately 89 services installed on Windows XP right out of the box. Of these about 36 are configured to install and run by default. However, depending on what you do with your systems, you may only really need 8 of these services. EIGHT! By following the recommendations from this site, you can free 12 to 90 MB of RAM for other uses. And remember, the less RAM the system itself uses to keep a stable environment, the faster it will function.

I was able to cut my services down to about 12 for my specific uses. And the speed and performance improvement I've reaped has been phenomenal. Plus, with fewer services running I also have fewer vulnerabilities due to services I never use. Talk about a win-win situation!

I do have to issue a warning. This site is maintained by a person who reveals himself only by his online handle: Black Viper. I know little to nothing about this individual. So, take his recommendations with caution. Test the changes on a non-production system before you choose to make sweeping changes in your environment. But I'm sure you'll find that most (if not all) of his insights into managing unnecessary services are well worth the effort.

BTW, in addition to his hints on managing unnecessary services, he also has a great page on containing numerous other performance enhancing tips -- he calls them Super Tweaks.

James Michael Stewart is a researcher and writer for Lanwrights, Inc.

This was first published in November 2002

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.