Windows XP Services Tweak Guide

Windows XP, just like Win2k & NT before it, runs many background Services for a wide variety of tasks, e.g. Plug & Play support, Print Spooler & even Task Manager.

There are ways of optimizing the usage of these Services and configure your machine for improved performance and even security by modifying their respective Startup types, and in some cases disabling them altogether. This guide will take you through a multitude of different Services, how and what they work for.

Special thanks to Azzo Computers and Microsoft themselves for supplying us with copies of Windows XP so we can continue with the development of our OS related guides.

Login, Backup & Restoring

Before doing anything else ensure you are logged in as a User with Administrative privileges. If you aren’t the re-logon as such a User otherwise you most likely won’t be able to change anything.

Before making any changes to your Services it would be a good idea to backup the current environment. You can do this by using the Backup utility in Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Backup.

Another alternative would be to simply backup you current Services & their settings. Click on Start, Run type in regedit & hit Enter. Expand to the following [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services]. Now select File then Export & save that registry branch with a specified name. Simply Double clicking on this file will prompt you as to whether or not you wish this information to be added to the registry in wish case select Yes & your previously saved settings will be restored.

Services Utility

Now that you’ve backed up your Service settings/Operating System we can move onto adjusting the Services themselves. Click on Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools then Services.

Before adjusting any of these you’ll need to consider 2 things – Startup type & Dependencies. To cover these 2 just double click on any of the listed Services & select the General tab.


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