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Dec 162010
 

Introduction

Many people have asked for a “one-click” type of solution to Windows 7 Services. This page is my answer. Even though it takes more than just “one-click,” it will make things faster for you and assist in configuring your system for optimal performance.

Warning: Before you do anything, read EVERYTHING!

Notes for a Happier Computer and User

  • Do not use “msconfig” to disable services, type “services.msc” in the Run box instead! (why?)
  • Before disabling any service, check out the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Services Information.
  • All of these services are “Standard” with Windows 7 Service Pack 1. If you discover something other than these listed here running, another program installed them.
  • After adjusting your service settings, reboot your computer.
  • Before posting your question in the comments below, see if your question has been addressed in the FAQ!

To-do List

  • DO back up any files that you cannot be without.
  • DO understand that editing the registry, no matter what method or extent, has risks.
  • DO use this information at your own risk.

The Don’t list

  • DON’T tweak your system randomly. Knowledge is power. Read and utilize the information I have available on my Services Configuration Guide, Services 411 Guide.
  • DON’T EVER, NEVER download and install a registry patch without first looking to see what you are applying!

Points to note

  • Modifying your services registry start up settings via these patches are GLOBAL. This means that what ever you do will effect all users.
  • You should recieve no errors when applying these patches.
  • Safe mode is not required.

Additional Information

  • Everyone should download and view the files on their local system to see what is in there before applying.
  • To EDIT the file, Extract the .zip file and save it somewhere on your local hard drive. Use “Notepad” to view the file or just right-click, select “edit” and away you go!
  • To APPLY the patch, or restore your previous backup registry file, double-click the file or right-click and select “merge.”
  • After applying the registry patch, reboot to see the effects of your tweaking.
  • I have tested these files on multiple systems and you should have no problems UNLESS you do not follow the instructions on this page. :)
  • All services that have the ability to be installed or uninstalled via Add/Remove Windows Components are not listed here. This is in an effort to not break existing configurations.
  • Several services that normally are “not” enabled are placed into automatic with these files. Two such services are Bitlocker Drive Encryption Service and WLAN AutoConfig. This is also in an effort to not break existing configurations (like a laptop connecting wirelessly) when, for the most part, people download these files to “fix” things.
  • A few services cannot be modified with a registry file. They are not listed here.

Files:

Services “Start” Key Modification

This section contains files with ONLY the “Start” key and “DelayedAutoStart”. For example:

The “Application Experience” service, this information is applied for the “Default” configuration:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AeLookupSvc]

“Start”=dword:00000003

For the key “Start,” the values are:

  • 00000001 ~ A system service that loads/starts very early on. Will not be used here.
  • 00000002 ~ Automatic
  • 00000003 ~ Manual
  • 00000004 ~ Disabled

Also, for the key “DelayedAutoStart,” the values are:

  • 00000000 ~ No
  • 00000001 ~ Yes

Default Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Services Start Key:

“Safe” Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Services Start Key:

Oct 032009
 

Introduction

Many people have asked for a “one-click” type of solution to Windows 7 Services. This page is my answer. Even though it takes more than just “one-click,” it will make things faster for you and assist in configuring your system for optimal performance.

Warning: Before you do anything, read EVERYTHING!

Notes for a Happier Computer and User

  • Do not use “msconfig” to disable services, type “services.msc” in the Run box instead! (why?)
  • Before disabling any service, check out the Windows 7 Services Information.
  • All of these services are “Standard” with Windows 7. If you discover something other than these listed here running, another program installed them.
  • After adjusting your service settings, reboot your computer.
  • Before posting your question in the comments below, see if your question has been addressed in the FAQ!

To-do List

  • DO back up any files that you cannot be without.
  • DO understand that editing the registry, no matter what method or extent, has risks.
  • DO use this information at your own risk.

The Don’t list

  • DON’T tweak your system randomly. Knowledge is power. Read and utilize the information I have available on my Services Configuration Guide, Services 411 Guide.
  • DON’T EVER, NEVER download and install a registry patch without first looking to see what you are applying!

Points to note

  • Modifying your services registry start up settings via these patches are GLOBAL. This means that what ever you do will effect all users.
  • You should recieve no errors when applying these patches.
  • Safe mode is not required.

Additional Information

  • Everyone should download and view the files on their local system to see what is in there before applying.
  • To EDIT the file, Extract the .zip file and save it somewhere on your local hard drive. Use “Notepad” to view the file or just right-click, select “edit” and away you go!
  • To APPLY the patch, or restore your previous backup registry file, double-click the file or right-click and select “merge.”
  • After applying the registry patch, reboot to see the effects of your tweaking.
  • I have tested these files on multiple systems and you should have no problems UNLESS you do not follow the instructions on this page. :)
  • All services that have the ability to be installed or uninstalled via Add/Remove Windows Components are not listed here. This is in an effort to not break existing configurations.
  • Several services that normally are “not” enabled are placed into automatic with these files. Two such services are Bitlocker Drive Encryption Service and WLAN AutoConfig. This is also in an effort to not break existing configurations (like a laptop connecting wirelessly) when, for the most part, people download these files to “fix” things.
  • A few services cannot be modified with a registry file. They are not listed here.

Files:

Services “Start” Key Modification

This section contains files with ONLY the “Start” key and “DelayedAutoStart”. For example:

The “Application Experience” service, this information is applied for the “Default” configuration:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AeLookupSvc]

“Start”=dword:00000003

For the key “Start,” the values are:

  • 00000001 ~ A system service that loads/starts very early on. Will not be used here.
  • 00000002 ~ Automatic
  • 00000003 ~ Manual
  • 00000004 ~ Disabled

Also, for the key “DelayedAutoStart,” the values are:

  • 00000000 ~ No
  • 00000001 ~ Yes

Default Windows 7 Services Start Key:

“Safe” Windows 7 Services Start Key:

Oct 012009
 

Black Viper’s Top 8 tweaks for a faster (and less annoying) Windows 7 PC

The following is what I do directly after a clean install of Windows 7. This does not mean that everything I do will work
for you. Keeping that in mind, ensure you are fully aware of the risks of tweaking your system before doing so. Several of my performance tweaks "reduce" the default functionality of Windows and removes some built in security features. If security is a top priority for you or you are a new user to W7, refrain from disabling any functionality noted as a security feature.

Point to note: Ensure that you are logged in as an "Administrator" or have Administrator rights before performing any of these
steps.

Even though I perform these steps directly after a clean install, all of them can be done at any time.

Quick Links:

Number One: User Account Control
Number Two: System Restore and Windows Search Features
Number Three: Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop
Number Four: Aero (Themes)
Number Five: Updated Drivers
Number Six: Lighten System Tray (Action Center)
Number Seven: Add/Remove Programs
Number Eight: Services

Number One: User Account Control

User Account Control or UAC is a feature in Windows 7 that asks for permission to do system software tasks and also run programs. Unfortunately, this security feature can become annoying at times. Much less so then it was with Vista’s default configuration, but it can be difficult to deal with as well as confuse users with dialog popups that are requesting a "password" to perform actions, but never actually ask for that password (if already logged in as an administrator). I cannot predict the future of your system or what kind of security vulnerabilities will be used to attack systems, and as such, you need to decide for yourself if you desire to keep UAC active, but if you wish to disable it, here is how I do it:

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select Change User Account Control settings under Action Center header
  5. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
  6. Select the slider on the left and drag it down to "Never notify"
  7. Select the Ok button to close the panel
  8. Select the Yes button (since UAC is still active) to continue modification of the settings
  9. Close the remaining open windows

Changing UAC back is as easy as steps 1 through 5 and putting the slider where you desire. Higher is "more secure".

With all of that said, I recommend the default levels for most anyone, but if you make system changes (denoted by a UAC shield on the button) often, you may choose to make it go away.

You will have to reboot for the setting to take effect.

Number Two: System Restore and Windows Search (Indexing) Features

If you are experiencing "random" slowdowns and "high" CPU usage for no reason, these two features are the most likely cause of the problem. These features are also a major cause of "missing" disk space. System Restore could be taking up to 15% of your hard drive space, just on its own. On a 200GB hard drive, that is 30GB! My laptop defaulted to 2% @ 766MB with 455MB actively being used on a non-tweaked (and not really used much) system. Clearing those backups reduced the usage to zero, though (more about the Delete button below).

System Restore creates system snap shots or "restore points"
for returning to at a later time. Every time you install a program or new driver, plus on a schedule, this service creates
a restore point to roll back to if a problem occurs. This is the first thing that I get rid of on a clean installation. If you use this and enjoy it, good for you. I never
will. I feel it is faster and less hassle to just install clean. If you do not use System Restore, I highly recommend you back up your important files using, for example, a CD/DVD burner or an external USB 2.0 hard drive. A rather good (and possibly the only) reason to use this "feature" is to roll back your OS after installing an unknown program or testing software. For example: BETA software
of any kind or before installing a Service Pack . NOTE: If you disable this feature,
your previous "restore points" will be deleted. If, for what ever reason, you do not want this to happen, do not
disable this service. This also creates and manages multiple versions of files that we can delete later. Yet another feature that I do not have a use for as I ensure many versions are backed up often elsewhere on the system. I have never needed to "roll back" a document, so the feature is not worth the effort for me. You may want to keep System Restore until after you mess with Number Eight (below). Your choice.

The Windows Search Service (or the not installed by default Indexing Service), by default, the service searches the start menu and the user account directory (C:/Users/<account>/) to assist in finding information faster. However, with the tasks that I personally do, I rarely, use the Windows Search feature. The indexing feature has improved, though, as it is much more sensitive to an active user and will reduce the resources used while a person is actively using the system.

Get rid of System Restore and file versioning. Where do you find it?

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select System
  5. Select System Protection (on the left side)
  6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
  7. Select System Protection Tab (should be there already)
  8. Select a hard drive listed under "Protection" that has "On" in the column
  9. Select the Configure button
  10. Select the "Turn off system protection" radio button
  11. Drag the "Max Usage" slider all the way to the left to 1%
  12. Select the Delete button if you wish to get rid of the current backups (not a wise idea if you are wanting to keep System Restore active)
  13. Select the Ok button to apply the settings (you may get several warning dialogs that you have too little space allocated or that you are deleting old restore points.

You can now disable the Windows Search Feature:

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select Programs
  4. Select under Programs and Features "Turn Windows Features on or off"
  5. Scroll down to Windows Search and uncheck it
  6. Select the Ok button to close the panel

Number Three: Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop

Remove Remote Assistance and ensure Remote Desktop is disabled.

Take Note: Remote Desktop is not available on Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium, so the option will not be there.

Where do you find it?

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select System
  5. Select Remote settings (on the left side)
  6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
  7. Uncheck "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer " option
  8. Ensure "Don’t allow connections to this computer" option is checked
  9. Select the Ok button to apply the settings

Number Four: Aero (Themes)

Reduce the overhead associated with Windows 7 new Theme. As a side note, the new Aero is a big reason to upgrade to Windows 7 and I really enjoy the new look. However, if you are using an older system that does not meet the recommended requirements to run the Aero Glass engine or have a system that does not have Windows 7 certified driver support, disable the themes to make it look like Windows 2000/XP (with its new theme disabled) and save the memory.

Also, in order to get back Aero Themes selection (after performing these steps, they will be grayed out of selection), you will have to reverse (enable) the features and reboot.

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select Appearance and Personalization
  4. Select Personalization
  5. Select Theme
  6. Under Basic and High Contrast Themes, select "Windows Classic"

Fine tune visual performance options:

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select System
  5. Select Advanced system settings (on the left side)
  6. select Advanced tab
  7. Select Settings button under Performance
  8. Select "Adjust for best performance."
  9. Select the Ok button

In order to shrink up the task bar to be only "one line", you will need to check another box located here:

  1. Right click the taskbar where there is nothing at
  2. Select Properties
  3. Taskbar tab
  4. Check "Use small icons"

After that, Disable and Stop the Themes service.

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select Administrative Tools
  5. Select Services
  6. Select "Themes" service (Double Click)
  7. Select General Tab
  8. In the Startup type: select "Disabled"
  9. In the Service status area: select "Stop"
  10. Select the Ok button to close the panel

You may also want to disable the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select Administrative Tools
  5. Select Services
  6. Select "Desktop Window Manager Session Manager" service (Double Click)
  7. Select General Tab
  8. In the Startup type: select "Disabled"
  9. In the Service status area: select "Stop"
  10. Select the Ok button to close the panel

Rebooting is not required as each action performed above is applied at the time it is finished.

Number Five: Updated Drivers

Download and install all updated drivers from the hardware manufacture sites.
I cannot tell you what site you need to go to for your system components as I have no idea what is installed in your system, but do your computer a favor and get updated drivers for everything. Contact your PC builder or each manufacture for each item installed in your system.

As with every Windows release in the past, updated drivers fix bugs and also usually increase performance from the default OS drivers installed.

Usually, after the installation of each driver, you must reboot. If the driver installation program does not ask you to reboot, I still recommend to do so.

Number Six: Lighten System Tray (Action Center)

After updating all my drivers, I remove any excess icons (most of them, basically) from the system tray (lower right) and
check the services (Number Eight: Services) to ensure nothing else was installed (like NVIDIA’s "driver helper"). Contrary to popular belief, those little "quick access" icons take up a lot of room and increase boot time.

Unfortunately, the Action Center is tough to get rid of and the "up arrow" can hide some of those icons. We can fix that.

  1. Click the "up arrow" in the system tray
  2. Select Customize…
  3. Check "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar"
  4. Select "Turn system icons on or off"
  5. Turn off the icons you do not wish to use by pulling down the menu selection under Behaviors.

I leave Clock and Network on (personal preference) but get rid of Volume, Power (laptop) and Action Center (it annoys me).

If you choose to disable the Action Center system tray notification, you can always view what "would" be there by:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select Action Center

Using this method, I can check Action Center messages and not be nagged by those "balloon" pop-ups when I am trying to get stuff done. Your call.

Number Seven: Add/Remove Programs

Uninstall Windows 7 features that are unused. You can always put them back on later:

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select Programs
  4. Select Programs and Features
  5. Select Turn Windows features on or off (on the left side)
  6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
  7. Check or Uncheck needed/unneeded Windows features (such as Tablet PC Components or Windows Gadget Platform)
  8. Select the Ok button

Number Eight: Services

Adjust for any additional unneeded services. Windows 7 Services Configurations have my recommended settings for all services and all versions as well as individual links to help you determine which services you can safely disable.

With the default Category Control Panel:

  1. Head to Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Select System and Security
  4. Select Administrative Tools
  5. Select Services
  6. Select a service to adjust by double-clicking
  7. In the General tab, Startup type section, select Automatic (Delayed Start), Automatic, Manual or Disabled.

If you like, you can also do: Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Run –> type in services.msc –> Select OK.

After configuring all services that you desire to change, reboot to see the effects of your tweaking.

Note: Do not use msconfig to stop services. It basically is "disabling" a service. Use the above procedure
and set to "manual" instead for testing purposes.

If you have not already, reboot now.
If you have rebooted, do it again.

Jan 132009
 

Important Information

  • Before posting your question in the comments below, see if your question has been addressed in the FAQ!
  • All of the following services are “Strange” with Windows 7. If you discover one of these Services or processes running, they were installed by another program.
  • At the bottom of the page, I have listed some processes that are not really “Services,” but applications running in the background when looking at Task Manager. I will try to identify “why” these particular applications are now running on your system…

Table Header Information

  • Display Name ~ Is how it is displayed in the Services Control Panel.
  • Service Name ~ Is what the service is called.
  • Process Name ~ Name of Process running in the background (displayed in Task Manager).
  • Dependencies ~ What this service needs to run.
  • Need it? ~ From what I have concluded by trial and error and also the services that I have found pointless…Your computer
    probably will be slightly different, so use this as what it was intended for, a guide.
  • DEFAULT ~ How the program supplier thinks it should be running.
  • “SAFE” Configuration ~ This is the configuration that 95% of the people will be able to use with little side effects.
    It will also minimizes the amount of “errors” that is reported in the Event Viewer. This does not guarantee it will
    work for you, but if you are scared, this configuration should be a good starting point for you as a test.

Black Viper’s Windows 7 Strange Services Configurations

Display Name Service Name Process Name Dependencies Need it? How did it get there? DEFAULT “SAFE”
##Id_String1.6844F930_1628_4223_B5CC_5BB94B879762## Bonjour Service mDNSResponder.exe TCP/IP Protocol Driver No. This service is installed iTunes, Safari and Adobe CS3 suite. I believe it has something to do with sharing files, however, since I do not use iTunes, nor do I share files using CS3 suite or Safari, this service can be safely disabled. It has been reported to me that TiVo Desktop uses this for PC connections. In this case, it is best left on Automatic. Automatic Disabled
APC UPS Service APC UPS Service mainserv.exe None Yes. This service is installed with APC’s PowerChute Personal Edition. It places a tray icon in the lower right to monitor UPS status as well as perform shutdown duties when the battery becomes low. I advise you to keep this service in Automatic. It uses between 2MB and 5MB of RAM. Automatic Automatic

These are not really “Services,” but are applications or processes running at different times

Most may be disabled using “msconfig.”

csrss.exe: This is “Client Server Runtime Process” is part of the core of Windows. You cannot kill it and I am not sure why you would even want to. It is a process that sucks up about 2 MB to 30 MB or so, but I do not support making it go away. Usually, if it is “difficult” to get rid of, it is needed. You may have one or two of these processes running.

CTHELPER.EXE: This is installed with the SoundBlaster drivers. It takes about 2 MB to 8 MB of RAM.

explorer.exe: This is NOT related to Internet Explorer. There will ALWAYS be an explorer.exe running in the background. It is the user interface process/desktop/shell, etc. If you load up “Windows Explorer” to rummage through files, you will see an additional explorer.exe in the background. This will fluctuate depending on what you have (fonts, background pics, active desktop) going at any given time. Usage of between 9 MiB and 50 MiB RAM is typical.

Idle: This is a generic process that is used when no other program or process is requiring CPU resources. It is not a bad thing if it is using 99% of your CPU! This process is a 16-24 KiB loop that the CPU processes while it is not doing “anything” else. If you computer is called upon to do any other task than nothing, the idle process allows that to happen and the % used will decrease accordingly. You can not disable the idle process. If it is using 97% CPU, which only means that the other 3% is used by real programs. If your idle process is constantly at a low rate (for example, 3%) something else, an application or process is using the CPU.

iexplore.exe: This is the IE6/7/8 browser. Pops up only when you want to suck up 7.3 MB to ?? MB of memory to surf the web. I say ?? MB because every time you open an additional browser, you also start another one of these processes.

“Generic Host Process for Win32 Services”: This is what ZoneAlarm complains about while connected to the internet. “SVCHOST.EXE” is “Generic Service Host.” What that means is it is a “host” for other processes or services. Check on This Page to see “all” of the services that use SVCHOST.EXE as a front for something else.

If your internet connection seems to “no longer work,” it is due to you disallowing various “required” functions to no longer access the internet. A big one is “DNS Lookups.” If you do not allow this to get through, you will no longer be able to type in “blackviper.com” but you will always be able to type in the IP address of the systems. The internet connection is still working, but you are blocking a “vital” part of the process for surfing web pages.

firefox.exe: This is the Mozilla.org Firefox browser executable. It uses between 17 MB and ??? MB of memory, depending on usage patterns.

smss.exe: Dubbed “Windows NT Session Manager.” Another process (see csrss.exe above) that is part of the core of Windows. It is a process that uses about 500k to 2 MB. You cannot kill this process manually and I do not recommend trying other ways to get rid of it. Usually, if it is “difficult” to get rid of, it is needed.

svchost.exe: A generic process that is “Service Host” for other processes. Yes, this is actually a service, but I am placing it here because I have no where else to put it. You may have 2 to 15 copies running in task manager
(system, network, user, and ?) If you use my tweaking tips, you can rid yourself of a couple of them.

System IDLE Process: This is a generic process that is used when no other program or process is requiring CPU resources. It is not a bad thing if it is using 99% of your CPU! This process is a 16-24 KiB loop that the CPU processes while it is not doing “anything” else. If you computer is called upon to do any other task than nothing, the idle process allows that to happen and the % used will decrease accordingly. You can not disable the idle process. If it is using 97% CPU, which only means that the other 3% is used by real programs. If your idle process is constantly at a low rate (for example, 3%) something else, an application or process is using the CPU.

taskmgr.exe: If you are looking at the processes running, this is the application that you are using to do it. “Windows Task Manager” is the full name. It uses about 2 MB to 10 MB of RAM, so take that into account when you are
tweaking your system.

winlogon.exe: This takes care of login and logoff tasks. Really, you cannot get rid of this process. It is required as long as you are “logged in.” I have seen this process fluctuate between 2 MB to 5 MB on a system that has been up for only an hour and 2 MB and 16 MB on a system that has been up for 40+ days.