www.BlackViper.com: Windows XP Service Pack 2 Services Profile Guide

Archive Note March 2007:

This page is no longer maintained. It is here for archive purposes only, however, the information is still valid today as when I wrote the guide in 2002.

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 XP SP3 Services Information.
  • All of these services are "Standard" with Windows XP. If you discover something other than these listed here running, another program installed them. View a listing of the more common ones.
  • Still unsure? Put your setting to "Manual" or the listing under "Safe." Manual allows Windows XP to start the service when it needs to (or when ever it feels like it), but not at boot up. Depending on your configuration, not all services will start when required while in "Manual" mode. If you find you need a service, place it in Automatic.
  • After adjusting your service settings, reboot your computer.
  • If you do not have some of these services listed, do not panic! If your computer manufacture "pre-installed" your XP, they choose not to have certain services installed for you. This is, in most cases, a fact with OEM versions of Windows XP Home.
  • Before posting your question on the forums, see if your question has been addressed in the FAQ!
  • More items about how to speed up your system can be found on the Windows XP Super Tweaks Page!
  • Disabling all of the "unneeded services" reduces the footprint of the OS by up to 70%, depending on system.
  • Do you mean that out of 89 services, 36 are set to Automatic as Default, but, we may only need 8 running?!? Yes.


Would you like to have an easy method to tweak your Systems Services with little or no risk? That is what this page is here for. You can create multiple hardware profiles for the purpose of testing different services configurations. Ensure you read all instructions provided and the Pro's and Con's at the bottom of this page.

This page is here to assist those people that are worried about breaking their computer. As such, hardware profiles are not "really" required for the "safe" configuration or "Internet Gateway" as it is very easy to place the changed services back to the default value. This information assists people with testing out "Gaming" and "Bare-bones " configurations with the knowledge that "default is a reboot away." Having that security is a good thing.

Items to think about

  • Ensure that, if you own a USB keyboard, it will work with hardware profiles by creating one and rebooting to see if you can navigate the options menu.
  • Adjusting a service directly (in the General Tab) effects all hardware profiles and users.
  • Adjusting a service using hardware profiles effects all user accounts.
  • Ensure that you look at the "Started" column to see which services are running in any particular profile.
  • With hardware profiles, there is no "Manual" option located in the "Log On Tab." Services that are set to "Manual" globally (General Tab) will remain that way unless changed globally or in the hardware profiles to "disable."
  • If the service is set to Automatic or Manual by default or recommended to place it into Automatic or Manual, leave it at "Enabled" in the hardware profiles "Log On Tab."
  • If you desire a service to be set to Automatic, from Manual or Disabled, place it that way globally (in the general tab) and then enable it via the profiles on test tweaking setups.
  • Something I have not tried is if, in a particular hardware profile, the System Restore Service is "Disabled," whether or not it deletes previous restore points or just does not create more for that profile.
  • Two services you cannot disable with this method are Event Log and Plug and Play.
  • The service that you CAN disable and will cause your system to become unbootable is Remote Procedure Call. Do not disable RPC via the hardware profiles method or any other method.


  • The ability to tweak your system with little or no risk.
  • Multiple configurations for different tasks or users.


  • Tweaking your computer's performance may become addictive. :)


Start --> Control Panel
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1) Shall we begin? (Image 1.1)

Head to: Start --> Control Panel.

Performance and Maintenance
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2) Control Panel: (Image 1.2)

In the Control Panel, select Performance and Maintenance.

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3) Performance and Maintenance Panel: (Image 1.3)

In the Performance and Maintenance Panel, select System.

System Properties Dialog
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4) System Properties: (Image 1.4)

System Properties Dialog will appear.

Select the Hardware tab, then click the Hardware Profiles button near the bottom.

Hardware Profiles Dialog
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5) Hardware Profiles Dialog: (Image 1.5)

The Hardware Profiles Dialog will be displayed.

Your current profile (Profile 1) needs to be copied.

Select the profile to highlight and then select the Copy button.

Confirmation screen
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6) Name Your Profile: (Image 1.6)

Using my Windows XP Services Configuration as a guide, choose a name that is appropriate.

I used "Default" here.

No partitions have been previously defined
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7) Copy and Rename Your Profiles: (Image 1.7)

Continue to copy a profile and name them appropriately.

Here, I used:

Default, Safe, Internet Gateway, Gaming, and Super Tweak.

Please note: under usual circumstances, unless you are using "Internet Connection Sharing" to provide your network with internet access, you can skip the Internet Gateway Configuration. If you are using ICS, you could substitute the "Internet Gateway" Configuration for "Safe."

Continue to create partitions
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8) Example Naming Scheme: (Image 1.8)

Your Hardware Profiles could look something like this:

When finished, select OK on the Hardware Profiles Dialog and System Properties.

Administrative Tools
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9) Administrative Tools: (Image 1.9)

After creating as many Hardware Profiles as you wish, select Administrative Tools in the Performance and Maintenance Panel.

Select Services
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10) Services Panel: (Image 1.10)

In Administrative Tools, select Services.

General Tab
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11) Services Properties Dialog: (Image 1.11)

Double click each service to bring up the Services Properties Dialog.

Using the standard method in the "General Tab," if you Disable a service, it is "forever" Disabled for every hardware profile and every user.

Instead, use the "Log On" tab.

Log On
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12) Using the Log On Tab: (Image 1.12)

Select the Log On tab.

Using my Windows XP Services Configuration as a guide, select each service and Enable or Disable them in each profile by selecting the profile and choosing the proper button.

Do not adjust your "Default" or "Profiles 1" configuration.

Please understand:

  • If a service is listed as "Automatic or Manual," leave the hardware profile as "Enable."
  • If a service is listed as "Disabled," change the hardware profile to "Disable."
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13) Reboot: (Image 1.13)

After all services have been adjusted, reboot your system.

Hardware Profile
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14) Example Boot Menu: (Image 1.14)

In a few seconds, the "Hardware Profile" screen will be displayed allowing you to choose which service configuration you wish to boot.

You are done!