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XP Services..

Here is a list of XP services, its not a complete list, but most of the services listed here can be disabled. Do be aware of which services you have disabled, maybe note them down. As you will likely find months later on that you cant understand why some new peice of software or something is refusing to work, it will be likely because a service needs to be switched back on.


Alerter (service.exe) Depends on the 'workstation' service working, and is set to 'manual' by default. This service is used to send alerts directly to administrators on networks. If dont use this service, and dont want the machine sending alerts then this services can be disabled.
Application Layer Gateway Service (alg.exe) Service is required to allow the machine to share its internet connection. This service is set to 'manual' by default. If not sharing then then this service can be disabled. Doesnt depend on any other services working.
Automatic updates If you dont want you PC upgrade itself then you can just disable this service. But do remember to keep your PC up-to-date. This service needs 'Background Intelligent Transfer Service' set to manual as to be to download the updates.
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) I believe only 'Automatic update' needs this to receive update files. Can be disabled, but you wont need to, as it is only activated when required.
Clipbook This not the clipboard, but something very similar. Allows clipboards to be shared accross machines. But yet to know anyone who actually uses this. Can be disabled.
COM+ Event System (svchost.exe) Depends on the 'Remote Procedure Call (RPC)' working. Not recommend to be disabled.
COM+ System Application (dllhost.exe) Certain applications use this application (see C:\Program Files\ComPlus Applications). If stopped, some application will not work, and even if they do work, your likely to receive loads of warning messages. Service is set to 'manual' by default and is often advised left at this setting.
Computer Browser (svchost.exe) Used to maintain the list of computers attached to network. Though it seems the network can still be browsed with this service disabled so not quite sure what function it actually performs, maybe for running the network 'master' controller. This service is on by default, but if your not running a multiple PC network, disable it.
Cryptographic Services (svchost.exe) It handles and checks software signatures. You will need this service as to install certain types of software and often windows updates. This service is on by default, but recommend setting to 'manual' as to be used when required.
DCOM Server Process Launcher (svchost -k DcomLaunch) Not quite sure what this performs but must be set to automatic for some internal processes to work. If DCOM is switched off, services like defrag will not work, and Work starts producing problem messages.
DHCP Client (svchost.exe) This service is on by default and requires your networking services to be already working. This allows your machine to receive an allocated IP address from a server. Which is often required when connecting to the internet or a network. If you don't use the internet and not connected to a network then this service can be disabled. Also if do, but your network or internet service provider uses static IPs and you have set a static IP in your TCP/IP settings, then you could disable this service.
Distributed Link Tracking Client (svchost.exe) This service is on by default, and may only be necessary if part of a network. It tracks shortcuts across machines as to make sure the shortcut still works when the location of a file is moved. I normally disable this service unless you have a number of unskilled staff using networked machines.
DNS Client Used to resolve DNS names locally by caching, and performs some local Active Directory domain controller functions. If you are not intending to use the internet or a network, this service can be disabled. Your machine will still resolve DNS names if disabled, but you might see "DNS resolver failed to flush the cache," errors when "repair" your network connection. Also used for IPSEC.
Error reporting service This sends your errors to microsoft, if you want to. If you never want to, then disable it.
HTTP SSL Allows secure connections for software. This service doesnt get used by internet explorer, its available component for which some software might use. Usually can be disabled. I think web servers do need this enabled.
Event Log (services.exe) This service on by default. It cannot and should not be stopped. It controls the messages sent and displayed in the machine's event log.
Human Interface Device Access If you are using a standard keyboard, then you can disable this service. This service enables custom buttons to work on the really fancy keyboards.
Java Quick Start This service helps keep Java in memory as to be accessed quicker. If you dont use the internet all the time, then its recommended you disable this. Java will still work fine.
Messenger (services.exe) This is the 'net send' service used for machines to send alert message directly to other machines (nothing to do with MSN messenger). Service is on by default, but can be disabled.
Network DDE & Network DDE DSDM (svchost.exe) Allows 'Dynamic Data Exchange' between computers. The only service that sometimes uses this is the clipbook. Generally can be disabled unless you do use this facility. Also some software (none that know of) may use these services.
Network Connections Service (svchost.exe) Controls network and internet connections. If you use either, than you need this service, if you dont, then this service can be disabled. Service is set to 'manual' by default.
Network Location Awareness (svchost.exe) Used in conjunction with Internet Connection Sharing. Service set as 'manual' by default. If not using internet connection sharing and not making changes to your dialup or network settings then it can be disabled.
Printer Spooler Used to communicate to any printer. If you dont wish to ever print, then disable it.
Protected Storage If your not encrypting files then you can disable this service.
Remote Access Connection Manager This can usually be disabled. This doesnt not create a network connection, as the network will run fine without it. Also wont stop you remote desktop access either. Maybe required for internet sharing.
Remote Registry This service enables other computers access your systems registry. If your computer is in an office, then you could be using programs which use this service. If your a home user, then its quite likely you dont need this.
Routing and Remote Access Similar to above, in that if your computer is in an office, you might need this. If not then, is usually quite safe to disable it.
Secondary Login This services enables more than one person to be logged in to your machine at any one time. In some environments this can be quite useful, but in most cases not used and can be safely disabled.
SSDP Discover Service I've yet to see anything that requires this service. It basically allow hardware devices to be attached remotely over a network, maybe a remote harddrive. If your not in an office, or dont have any such device attached to a network, then just disable it.
Task Scheduler This runs the tasks within task scheduler. If you dont want to ever use windows task scheduling then disable it.
Telephony (svchost.exe) Controls anything to do with dialin numbers. Usually used for PCs that are using dialup internet, and some broadband connectionss. Would also be used for fax and voice IP software. If none of this is being used then it could be disabled.
Themes (svchost.exe) Usually on by default, and just changes the look of desktop. Can be disabled without any effect other than a different window styles.
Upload Manager (svchost.exe) The service on by default, but can be disabled. It has something to do with sending your hardware details to microsoft. Dont think it actually gets used, and turning it off has no side effects.
WebClient This has nothing to with browsing the internet. Its there to help some problems access the internet, but I've yet to see this service used. Just disable it!
Wireless Zero Configuration Service (svchost.exe) Controls configuration of wireless networking devices. This services is on by default, but if you don't use wireless networking it can be disabled.
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