WinXP Services - remove what you don't need
|Windows XP is a great OS, but as you may have
noticed, it's full of security holes. I found this tip in one of the
newsletters I subscribe to. My PC is WinME so I can't try these out.
Quote (abridged) from the newsletter Wintips&Tricks - subscribe at http://www.freelists.org/cgi-bin/webpage?webpage_id=wintips
Ok, here is an alphabetical list of 25 Windows XP services which most users of a single non networked computer do not need and which can be
safely disabled. Click the Name column heading to sort your Services list alphabetically so you can follow along more easily.
In your Control Panel, go to Administrative Tools> Services.
To stop a currently running service, double click it to get to its Properties, and then click the STOP button.
To disable it from running again, choose Disabled from the dropdown list under the Startup type section.
If you are not sure whether you need a cerrtain service, set it to Manual instead of Disabled.
With Manual, Windows should start the service when needed but in my experience, some services won't start even if they are set to Manual.
Whether they start on Manual seems to depend on ones system configuration.
1. Alerter (no need for this one unless you are on network and need to send and receive administrative alerts)
2. Clipbook (no need for this one unless you are on a network and do a lot of copying and pasting to others on your network)
3. Computer Browser (only if you have a network you might want this one enabled - it keeps track of the computers on the network)
4. Error Reporting Service (only enable this if you like those error reporting boxes that pop up whenever you have some crash!)
5. Fast User Switching (if you like it enable it, if not, it's not needed)
6. Human Interface Access Devices (disable if you don't have devices such as Internet keyboards with volume or play controls or scanners with hot key functions)
7. Indexing Service (this one is a resource hog and tends to slow down system performance).
8. Messenger (not the same as MSN messenger - this is the bad rep one used in networking and allowing others tonet send you messages or spam you at will)
9. Net Logon (not needed unless you are part of a Domain)
10. NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing ( security risk - it allows a remote user with NetMeeting to access your computer)
11. Remote Desktop Help Session Manager ( security risk - disable this unless you are a Remote Desktop user)
12. Remote Procedure Call Locator (wasn't sure about this one but after a year of having it disabled, never caused a problem)
13. Remote Registry ( security risk - unless you want someone to be able to edit your registry remotely, disable it)
14. Routing and Remote Access ( security risk - alllows lan and wan dial in access to your computer)
15. Server (only if you are on a LAN, you may want this - for basic file and print sharing services)
16. SSDP Discovery Service ( security risk - even Microsoft says this is a security risk)
17. Telnet(security risk - should definitely be disabled unless you yourself are using telnet)
18. Themes (if you are using the Windows classic interface - like in Windows 98 and 2000 - then you don't need this)
19. SSDP Discovery Service (security risk - it leaves Port 5000 open and accessible!)
20. TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (disable this for security reasons unless your network is using the NetBios protocol)
21. Universal Plug and Play Device Host (security risk but note that some multiplayer games using DirectX 7 and 8 may use this, but still a security risk)
22. Upload Manager ( not needed even if you do have a network - most use FTP for file transfers)
23. Windows Time (optional - do you want Microsoft to run an always on service to contact time servers to synchronize the clocks on your network?)
24. Wireless Zero Configuration (if you don't have a wireless network, why have this running - you can always reenable it if you ever do get into Wireless)
25. WMI Performance Adapter (provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf providers - not essential)
And that's it. Note that this list only represents what I have tested and disabled for myself. There may be other services you can disable as well but these
are the main ones. Use caution disabling any other services and only do so if you know what you are doing.