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 »  Home  »  Security Tips  »  Services Tweaks
Services Tweaks
By  Super Admin  | Published  12/21/2005 | Security Tips | Rating:
Services Tweaks

Warning: Disabling certain services can lead to unexpected results on some systems. The disabling of the services as recommended should be made with care and are for the general user - some users may need to make adjustments depending upon their individual needs. Services tweaking is optional for Vista-ready hardware, providing some performance gains nevertheless.

With the Vista CTP Build 5231 release Microsoft has even more tightly integrated many of the services into the operating system; as a result there are less performance gains to be found from disabling many of the services as compared to previous builds. After considerable testing and benchmarking by PROnetworks staff, we have found little if any performance gain to be found by disabling services with the exception of disabling the User Experience Session Management Service (uxss.exe). In addition there are a number of new services which are only partly integrated into this build, and as such, disabling some services can cause unforeseen results. If you would like to experiment yourself, the procedure below outlines the steps to disable services.

To Disable Services:
Go to the start menu, select run, and type in 'services.msc' (without the quotes). This will open up the Services Management Console.

Scroll down the list of services until you find the service you wish to disable then double click on the service, or alternatively, right click on the service and select Properties.

In the dropdown for Startup type select "Disabled", click Apply, and click the Stop button to stop the service.

Once the service shows as being stopped, click OK and go on to the next service.

*Note: Some services have dependencies with other services so depending on the order that you disable them you may get a message that tells you that stopping this service will stop another service.

Services Tweaks for Older Hardware

Those attempting to install Vista build 5231 on older hardware, for example having an older Sempron CPU or Pentium III for example, would be well-advised to apply the following Services tweaks, which have been found to provide significant performance improvement on such older machines.

Disable the following Services:

Application Layer Gateway Service

IKE and AuthIP IPSec

Infrared monitoring service - do not disable if using a remote with the Media Center shell

Offline Files

Remote Registry

Secondary Logon (if you have only one user)

SSDP Discovery - *Note: disabling this service will also stop the UPnP Device Host service and the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service– in some cases disabling the SSDP service has been found to fix the 100% CPU usage problem in svchost.exe with some programs such as NOD32 Antivirus


For those users who experience poor performance due to an unsupported Graphics card, or who have Graphic Driver problems, we recommend disabling the User Experience Session Management Service

This will disable DWM and the Aero effects, but you can get a performance boost depending on your setup. This tweak is recommended for those who find their machines running slow with the DWM effects enabled as well as those wishing for a moderate performance gain.

On some machines, especially those with older hardware, it may be desirable to disable the Windows Search Engine service. This is a core feature of the new Operating System; however in this build of Windows Vista, it is still fairly buggy and can drain too many resources. On the other hand, if you have a recent and relatively fast CPU, we would advise you leave this service running automatically, even though the service may cause some temporary performance loss during the content cataloguing process.

For added Security, you may try disabling the following Services:

The following tweaks are suitable for both older and Vista-ready machines.

Intersite Messaging
Peer Networking Group Authentication
Peer Networking Grouping Service
Peer Networking Identity Manager
Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
Remote Access Connection Manager
Terminal Services – do not disable if using Infrared monitoring service

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