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Windows 7: What services are safe to disable?

26 May 2014   #61
exitPr0gram

Windows 7 Professional Version 6.1 Build 7601 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by exitPr0gram View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Leave services alone. In lots of testing, I was almost unable to prove any benefit whatsoever to shutting down services and in most cases the system performed worse with services disabled.
Can you please provide a link to where it says a system performed worsewith certain services disabled? In this thread, i have listed all the ones that i have disabled, whether for security, or for performance.

I feel like I'm running in circles on trying to get an answer an what detrimental effects disabling services (that you do NOT need) will have on a Windows 7 machine.
Benchmarking (with its flaws) might prove that you have no performance loss with services disabled. You cannot prove (to my satisfaction) that your list of disabled services and your system stability data is meaningful to every other computer*. Thus your labor would not settle anything "once and for all".

*Because your computer has usage patterns and 3rd party software that other computers might not have.


About your list of disabled services; I was not expecting any individual member here to research each and every item. I was hoping that (with enough sets of eyes) someone could say: "Oh, I had <insert a specific service> disabled too and this negative event happened......" The problem is, this forum does not have enough members with current experiences in this type of hardening. There might be some members that have MS services disabled, but they are not willing to admit/defend it here; and/or they've not noticed this thread.


As for the things that I've learned:
1) My employer still uses GPO to disable certain services on certain computers instead of using SCCM. I've not asked why, but horror stories like this one, might be the reason.
2) I should not post when I'm really tired...
...I've not stuck to a level of citing references that I prefer
...I did not always stay on topic.
3) I should not have mention people leaving the forum without being able to cite references.
4) There are other things that I've learned too, but I don't want to dig up the references :-)

I should also clarify, that my AD domain admin duties are infrequent (maybe once or twice a month). That is not my full time job. I only know how to do the things that I need to do. It is a very small subset of what an AD domain admin could do. Its relevance to the thread was/is: W7 computers that are used to perform AD domain admin duties have some MS services disabled where I work. I'm not going to list those services because doing so could get me fired :-(


gregrocker and Layback Bear,
Thanks for your patience with me :-)
Thanks, yet again, for your patience with me. Your quoted post was informational to me whether you had sleep or not, plus everyone makes mistakes, everyone knows that.

I was not expecting every one to research each and every service that i had disabled and to manually see if it would cause problems so i apologize if i made it seem that way. Seeing if they cause problems is what I am doing. Which is basically just disabling services for your average home user.

I also understand that bench marking tests could not necessarily be accurate as far as what I am trying to determine. I could take the time to view the exploits at sites such as exploit-db.com and other's alike to see if disabling these services will add to security but i do not have that much time on my hands at the moment. Like you with your part time AD gig, i have things i do aside from my day job as well. After all, this is real life.

To keep everyone up to date with the services i have disabled I have had zero problems so far disabling the services that i have disabled. Since my original post HERE I have also installed VLC and changed from using COMODO to using Windows 7 Firewall since someone stated that COMODO will conflict in certain ways with MSE. All with no problems. I have not experienced any issues at all, whatsoever.

When i get time to do the research on MS Services exploits i will add them to this forum with as many facts as possible. If anyone has a good list of exploit sites that I can bookmark to research (when i have time) for the sake of this topic, that would be great

So far the only exploit sites i am aware of are: exploit-db.com and securityphresh.com


Thanks to all.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
07 Mar 2015   #62
whatttupG

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

Found this thread in a search for the topic named in this thread title, so excuse the bump but I feel the need to rail on something.

The fire in this thread is depressing, like nobody here... a forum dedicated to helping people with win7 issues... has issues with windows 7. While I personally would like to agree with don't mess with the OS, it seems necessary as I'm one of those users I guess, who seems to have problems and feel it might be related to this mass of bloatware I don't need/want/use. Surely the Jedi here will agree, this OS has way more than it needs to run for me, right?

To me, this OS is both great... as I love many things about it... but also massively bloated with crap that surely is plugging up my system. I am past ready to jettison this useless crap, I don't want it. Whether its just taking space or wasting cycles, I don't really care, unless someone can prove it's not wasting time and clogging up my system, it can go overboard. I mean what else can I do, there is no other help for me to speed this pig up is there? Is there a way to diagnose what the hell is going while that stupid circle just spins and spins. Can I download something called 'what in the hell is taking so long' and run that? It seems about as smart as sending a Western Union wire transfer to a stranger needing to cash a check in the US, but then again, this isn't that and it sure sounds like a step in the right direction I CAN use.

I mean yeah sure, IP6 is relevant today, but not for me, my crap runs on IP4 and will be for the expected life of this PC. Then again, maybe M$ expects you replace your box like your phone maybe, and that is why an OS that once loaded easily in 640k now doesn't have enough resources to boot with a gig of ram? Do I seriously need all this junk to be running just to run a spreadsheet, or fire up an app? Is application information something that is necessary for this, does bitlocker encryption service help me highlight a flipping row of boxes, and what the F is a function discovery provider host. It's running, so I need it right??

I have disabled everything I can find to make this box run because from XP to 7, computer life just gets slower and slower, worse and worse. Do I really need all this crap? Is this mountain of services needed for me to live? It's unreal, clicks for programs sometimes just seem to go unanswered as I sit there knowing it saw me, but wondering when it will care. I click once and sit there like a trained monkey because it just wont give it to me when I ask, but if I leave and come back in 10 minutes, it will be up and waiting finally. Inevitably I sit around and linger motionless, hoping to see a cursor change or some hint after a while, waiting for the app to open or page to refresh. I think this behavior is simply stupid for a modern OS and inexcusable IMO but, who am I to judge right? Well such is life on 7 with a paltry 4G of memory I guess, I'm sure it's my fault because I haven't upgraded more stuff.

Personally, I'm sick of this BS. I have uninstall entries that won't uninstall. .NET has been trying to auto update itself for a month without success and now, along with little exclamation points harping on me to reboot and repair stuff, all that downloading finally filled up my drive. What is that about, I don't even use .NET for anything, isn't this OS smart enough to know that know only don't I use it, I don't want it and it probably should stop at the tenth consecutive download of the same damn package that didn't work the last nine times? I have seven installs of C++ as well, don't use that either, it just seems like yet another piece of maybeware I don't yet need. My files have three to five entities that have permissions, half my crap shows its owner as 'trustedinstaller' and every once in a while I will get barked at to contact my system administrator because I don't have sufficient privileges to view something. I am the freaking admin here, what is this crap, why isn't my stuff mine anymore? Is this likely to change or improve in win8, or win10? Is this finally the upgrade where I get to have my stuff back, or will I suffer the same drama as before, should I take the upgrade path that doesn't format the drive and run a 'fresh install'.

After all, that will fix my problems just like it did the last four times right? Maybe I should just stop trying to use the files I already have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #63
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Good rant, take a bow.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whatttupG View Post
While I personally would like to agree with don't mess with the OS, it seems necessary as I'm one of those users I guess, who seems to have problems and feel it might be related to this mass of bloatware I don't need/want/use.

Hmm...."seems", "feels", and "might". You could be right or wrong.

Whether its just taking space or wasting cycles, I don't really care, unless someone can prove it's not wasting time and clogging up my system, it can go overboard.

I don't see how anyone could ever prove that.

I have disabled everything I can find to make this box run because from XP to 7, computer life just gets slower and slower, worse and worse.............

Is it possible that your continued disabling causes issues as well as solves issues?

Well such is life on 7 with a paltry 4G of memory I guess..............

Plenty of people get by fine on 4 GB. I do. If you are using up all you have and have a reason to believe more would help, spend the 30 or 40 dollars it takes to move to 8 GB. I have no idea if it would help you.


Is this likely to change or improve in win8, or win10? Is this finally the upgrade where I get to have my stuff back, or will I suffer the same drama as before....................

I wouldn't expect it to change. I'd expect continued drama with users continuing to disable everything they can find and throw stuff overboard "whether its just taking space or wasting cycles". Those are natural responses to frustration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Mar 2015   #64
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

There is much about Windows and other operating systems that has never been publicly documented. I will not go into the reasons but this is a good thing. The problem with disabling a service or even setting it to Manual is that you can never be certain that it isn't needed. Many services do more than the public documentation states. There are many guides that attempt to more fully document services but the authors are often guessing. Sometimes they guess wrong. So you disable a service at your peril.

Incidentally setting a service to Manual is not a safe alternative to disabling it. In this state the system or an application can start it if necessary. But don't expect that this will actually occur. Often something will not function without even a hint as to the cause.

In XP and older systems an admin account had full and (almost) unrestricted access. This was convenient. The problem is that any malicious software you might be running, almost always without your knowledge, will have those rights as well. It will take full advantage of this situation. Starting with Vista an admin account only has the rights of a standard user. The full rights of an admin account are available on request. Even an elevated admin account does not have the rights to modify most system files. These rights can be obtained but because this information is likely to be misused I will not describe the procedure.

The default configuration of modern systems is a compromise between convenience and security. Security always has it's price. In future versions of Windows security and it's price will likely rise.

In competing operating systems it has long been accepted that normal use accounts will not have full access to the system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #65
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

What is this discussion - a competition on who can brick the OS the fastest. The answer is simple. The services should be left alone. If they are active, you need them and if they are inactive, they don't eat anything.

The problem was already well described by LMiller7 - you cannot tell by the name of the service where it is being used. E.g. if you disable defrag, you can no longer shrink a partition in disk management. In Vista I remember if you disabled the tablet service because you had no tablet, the snipping tool would not work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #66
gregrocker

 

In addition, we tested all this during beta when memories were still fresh of needing to disable overhead in Vista before SP2. There were no performance gains whatsoever with Vliting (then) the OS, yet almost every configuration resulted in unintended consequences. The only useful application was for ultra-small (at the time) netbooks which could use the space taken by extra languages and the full driver store.

It is much more productive to refocus on the actual install one has. What we've found in being the go-to place here for Clean Reinstall Windows 7 is the install compiled there with everything we've learned that works best, will always result in perfect performance on adequate hardware. I define perfect performance as always instantaneous system functions which never hang.

We also specialize for years in Cleaning Up Factory Bloatware so can dispute with long experience that there is anything approaching "bloatware" in Win7, the leanest Windows by far to date. Real bloatware is dozens of useless duplicate programs larded on by the OEM's that compete and interfere with Win7, and can damage the OS even with uninstall. Just turning them all off at startup, however, gives immediate relief.

An unsung achievement achieved after the Vista debacle by Win7 developers was turning off dozens of previously Automatic Services which were set to Manual with newly-deveoped Fast Triggers to start them instantaneously. I was reading the Devlopers' Blog at the time and was fascinated by this and soon saw it in practice and realize that this made all the difference between a truly bloated OS like pre-SP3 XP and pre-SP2 Vista which until these developments were added to subsequent services pack in those OS's would often choke on older hardware.

This to me remains the genius of Win7: not SuperPreFetch but Manual Fast Triggers one needed to be reading the Developers' blog to even know about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #67
whatttupG

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Good rant, take a bow.

...
I see, I guess you're right, it's clearly my fault.

More money is clearly the answer to S for brains engineering.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #68
whatttupG

windows 7 64 bit pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
What is this discussion - a competition on who can brick the OS the fastest. The answer is simple. The services should be left alone. If they are active, you need them and if they are inactive, they don't eat anything.

The problem was already well described by LMiller7 - you cannot tell by the name of the service where it is being used. E.g. if you disable defrag, you can no longer shrink a partition in disk management. In Vista I remember if you disabled the tablet service because you had no tablet, the snipping tool would not work.

Except that the OS in its current form, is essentially self-bricking. If killing off overhead services isn't a solution, please offer something that is. I didn't step in to fluff the flame war, I'm here because my PC is slow, and it's slowing down with every upgrade to the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #69
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whatttupG View Post
I see, I guess you're right, it's clearly my fault.

More money is clearly the answer to S for brains engineering.
Spending more money is not likely to help you, so I wouldn't bother with that idea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #70
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

whatttupG I think you are misunderstanding what this is all about.
Let me see if I can help.
Their are many thing that can be done safely to improve the speed of Windows 7 and we will happy to share them with anybody that wants to know.

We will also give advice on what not to do. With a quarter of a million members we have learned what to do and what not to do.

We give this advice freely to anybody.
We also try very hard not to give advice that will harm others computers.
One always has the choice of taking our advice or doing what they please on their computers.

Microsoft operating system are installed on over a billion computers.
Yet Microsoft still wants to sell more like any other company.

I don't get mad at Ford just because they make a newer model I can't afford.
I will make due with what I have until I can afford better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What services are safe to disable?




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