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Windows 7: Disabling Windows 7 Services

15 Oct 2011   #31
FastBoot

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

For my first post I thought I would add in my experience here. I don't particularly recommend these settings, but I've only had benefits so far.

Now, I only use this system for a few things, web browsing, e-mail, Office Suite stuff (2010), editing avi movies and music production/playback. I was looking for a 'silent stripper' system, but enough to run a decent multimedia environment. I don't print anything or play PC games either.

I use an older system, two actually. They are both 7 year old HP DX2000 mini-towers. I got them for $25 each and added 2GB of RAM and a lot of HD storage, four 1.5TB drives for my movie & music files. The boot-up drives are typical 250GB WD drives, nothing special in either. They are both configured identically except for their services, I'm running 32-bit WIN7 Ultimate w/ SP1.

So I decided to use one as a suicide tester to see how much I could get away with disabling stuff and still have it usable. I never trusted all those overly cryptic service descriptions warning of impending doom if such and such services are disabled. Right now the tester is running a mere 19 (now 20, see below in green) services and they are all set to auto - been like that for almost a year. My previous WIN2000 box had only 9 services enabled, ran it like that for 11 years. On my Win7 system they are:
  • COM+ Event System
  • DCOM Service Process launcher
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • Group Policy Client
  • Multimedia Class Scheduler
  • Network Store Interface
  • Plug and Play
  • Power
  • RPC
  • RPC Endpoint Mapper
  • Security Accounts Manager
  • Software Protection (Manual)
  • Superfetch
  • System Event Notif.
  • User Profile Service
  • Windows Audio
  • Windows Audio Endpoint Builder
  • Windows Driver Foundation
  • Windows Mgmt Inst. Service.

All other services are set to Disabled not Manual. If you're counting, that's over 120 services that are disabled. If you don't see it listed above, it's disabled. I also disabled the Task Scheduler via a registry tweak. I find the TS is hooked into everything that Windows needs to phone home constantly. No more Microsoft stealth contact (according to my packet sniffer).

How's it run you ask? So far, just fine. It will be a year at the beginning of November 2011 and i don't see any issues. I can still do all the things I need to do. In fact, I'm in the process of doing the same thing with my main computer because of its success. I'm a manual type of guy, so if I need updates I have to do them manually. But based on what I do, I find new updates sometimes screw up my movie editing software, so I'll just stick w/ SP1 for now. If I need a restore point created, manual. Defrag? - manual, etc.. I've basically silenced my computer to do exactly what I want and sped it up as a side benefit.

What surprised me the most was boot up time, 33 seconds from power on to desktop (as long as I don't have my USB backup drive plugged in). Keep in mind this is a 7 year old computer, w/ a single 3Gz processor and only 2GB of RAM plus a 512MB video card. Everything else hardware is ancient on it. But it's still very snappy, I don't have any complaints yet. I also thought turning off Windows search and indexing service would be a hassle looking for files, but searches are very quick regardless - so off it stays.

Imagine doing this on a new system. I have to confess, Win7 is highly configurable and pretty fast - especially after tweaking it like I have. MS did a decent job on this O/S, very happy with it.

So there you have it, sorry for the long first post but I thought it was necessary to explain as much as possible to warn as well as inform. As stated, I wouldn't recommend these settings for people who may do more complicated things than I do or are used to Windows doing everything for them automatically. But for me and for everything I do, it works very well even after close to a year.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Oct 2011   #32
pincushion

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

What do you use in case you have problems with the OS - any imaging software? I think too many on this forum seem to have the 'don't alter anything, you'll probably die!' and that Windows 7 is perfect as it stands. No defrag, no controlling pagefile, no altering services etc. - of course many of us out there in the wilderness do not believe this and tweak to our hearts content AND manage to have useable systems that for some reason aren't always falling over or riddled with malware. Perhaps it is all down to the user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #33
gregrocker

 

I regularly get a 20 second boot with all Services set to defaults.

The genius of Win7 is that all Services not absolutely needed at boot are set on fast triggers. Why try to outsmart something this smart to begin with? You'll likely outsmart yourself unless you want to do everything "manually" with a computer.

Beta testers learned the hard way that there is no performance clawback to be had at all a la XP and early Vista by tweaking Services. Win7 has become the Black Viper - the ultimate tribute.

On low RAM computers I still edit Visual Effects to eliminate sliding, animation, dragging intact and other hogs, but never Aero which gives elegance at a bargain. Yet some prefer the Dodge Dart XP methods to Win 7's Lexus. We even see those who default to steel gray file cabinet Win2000 graphics by unchecking Use Visual Styles.

For those who can't resist compound tweaking, be sure to bookmark this: Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions - Windows 7 Forums. There's about half a day's wait while other tweakers are being helped.

Enjoy Windows 7!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Oct 2011   #34
FastBoot

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Yeah, I have to agree with that completely. That's one of the reasons for my post, that it can be done for long-term w/ no consequences. There are too many silent owners doing things like this that may be intimidated by the 'doom and gloom' crowd.

Years ago I felt the same. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to logon, or my performance would suffer, or 3 months down the road something strange would happen and troubleshooting it would be a nightmare. But nothing has happened so far, same with my previous WIN2000 system which was similarly tweaked and which I used for a decade.

As for imaging software, I use the Win7 built-in imaging - I take a snapshot every month or so. I can't use the system restore function because it's switched off, though I may turn it back on - it's pretty handy.

But the whole point of having two cheap computers was for me to have an inexpensive O/S backup I could just swap in if I have an issue I didn't foresee (like hardware). Perhaps I could Ghost over the main HD to a spare HD as a third alternative.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #35
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by FastBoot View Post
There are too many silent owners doing things like this that may be intimidated by the 'doom and gloom' crowd.
Well as a self confessed member of the "doom and gloom crowd" I will tell you this. IMO, Windows 7 IS perfectly fine pretty much at default. It doesn't start a service unless its needed anyway so it's not hogging resources, and it's not affecting your machine.

However, as I always say, it's your machine, do what you want with it. My own personal reason for recommending not messing with it is quite simple. When it goes wrong, invariably people come here. We don't have a gnats chance in hell of helping you if you have gone around disabling services nilly willy and then cant remember what your done. (I'm not saying this is you, but generally thats what we see here).

In those cases the answer is always the same "just format and start again, we have no way of knowing what you've done". So I try and save the headache and just say don't do it in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #36
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Couldn't agree more severedsolo. Personally I'm more like FastBoot, I enjoy tweaking and will go to great lengths to squeeze every drop of performance out of my computer. That said, I don't touch anything until I absolutely know for sure what its purpose is - which means I end up on Google and Wikipedia a lot. It's a fun way of learning and teaching myself some new tricks too.

The problem with so many other users is that they blindly follow recommendations and tips they pick up somewhere without knowing what they're really doing. It's partially the fault of users who won't educate themselves first and are too quick to trust shady (or simply outdated) sources, and partially the fault of those who spread half-baked advice without in-depth explanations on the Internet to begin with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #37
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 
My thinking also

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I regularly get a 20 second boot with all Services set to defaults.

The genius of Win7 is that all Services not absolutely needed at boot are set on fast triggers. Why try to outsmart something this smart to begin with? You'll likely outsmart yourself unless you want to do everything "manually" with a computer.



Beta testers learned the hard way that there is no performance clawback to be had at all a la XP and early Vista by tweaking Services. Win7 has become the Black Viper - the ultimate tribute.

On low RAM computers I still edit Visual Effects to eliminate sliding, animation, dragging intact and other hogs, but never Aero which gives elegance at a bargain. Yet some prefer the Dodge Dart XP methods to Win 7's Lexus. We even see those who default to steel gray file cabinet Win2000 graphics by unchecking Use Visual Styles.

For those who can't resist compound tweaking, be sure to bookmark this: Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions - Windows 7 Forums. There's about half a day's wait while other tweakers are being helped.

Enjoy Windows 7!
Exactly!! These are My thoughts also.
Services are there to help you not hurt you.
It's a shame it won't let me rep gregrooker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #38
FastBoot

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

I don't agree...

Running it this way for a year and my previous WIN2000 box for much longer, has convinced me that some of these services, while noble in nature, just aren't needed.

I find Windows, like cars, can be lightened & made to perform better in a cumulative fashion. Installing that carbon fiber hood does nothing to increase street performance. But switching to a lighter spare tire, lighter wheels, lighter brakes, a dry battery, lighter performance seats, etc. has a big effect on the total weight of the car - so it performs better w/o having to add more power.

I do agree, those 100 plus services I've done away with are negligible for performance - individually. But cumulatively, they are constantly snapping on at different times doing stuff I don't need done. None of that stuff is needed by me, and if i do need it I'll turn it on, use it and shut it the heck off. Of course, knowing what they do is half the fun. Remember, I'm using a 7 year old box with old technology and it still boots in just half a minute.

Using the car analogy again, do I really need that golf club set in the trunk? If I'm on a whim and want to golf on my way back from work it would be useful to cart them along. I wouldn't notice them much if I have a powerful sports sedan, but I would if I drove a Corolla w/ only 90 horsepower. So, I'll leave those clubs at home and pick them up when I need them. They're still there, I'm just not lugging them around wasting gas, space and resources.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #39
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

I dunno, now you're kinda exaggerating...Of course nobody needs 100+ services and there aren't even that many running on a fresh Win7 install. Plus the point has been made that unused services, even if running, just don't do anything.

Every second, your CPU spends a few nanoseconds looking at these services and decides they have nothing to do. Then it moves on.

So you shave off those 5 or so nanoseconds by disabling a bunch of services. There are 1,000,000,000 nanoseconds in one second so I really don't buy the argument that it makes any kind of noticeable difference at all.

To further your own analogy, that's like taking 5g off a 1,000 ton truck and saying "look, it's lighter."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2011   #40
FastBoot

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Well, I'm not saying this old box is a missile. There's nothing to exaggerate, I'm just stating what I've done.

Buy it or not, the concrete proof is in my performance. My other box isn't slow, but it's pokey and its boot-up time is over two minutes. Rendering movies takes longer and when I listen to music while I'm working, it occasionally cuts the sound. I don't have that problem with my stripper and they're the same box.

So I'm actually getting a measurable performance difference, no denying it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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