Windows XP Services Tweak Guide

Services listing & Recommendations

While this listing is fairly extensive, it is worth noting that the Services which you may have available will be determined by the Applications, Drivers & Network components, etc. you have installed (Or don’t). As such if you are “missing” a Service here don’t worry about it. This guide will be updated in the future with further Services as appropriate.

Application Layer Gateway Service. Provides support for 3rd party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing & the Internet Connection Firewall. If you have Internet Connection Sharing & the Windows XP built-in firewall enabled set this to Automatic, otherwise leave this set to Manual.

Application Management. Provides software installation services such as Assign, Publish, & Remove. Set this to Manual to enable Application installation/Uninstallation as normal, although the more wary system administrators may want to Disable this lest Users add/remove something they shouldn’t.

Automatic Updates. Enables the download & installation of critical Windows updates. For those who’d rather not take the time to visit Windowsupdate this feature enables Windows XP to automatically check for & download any updates available. Before deciding on a Startup setting for this Right click on My Computer & select Properties. Now select the Automatic Updates tab.

Should you select either of the top 2 options then set this Service to Automatic to ensure it works correctly, but if you instead selected Turn off automatic updating then set this to Manual.

Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Uses idle network bandwidth to transfer data. For the majority of Users this feature should be of little use & as such I’d recommend setting it to Manual. Those on highly active Networks may benefit from having this set to Automatic, although it may be worth testing out to see if it does.

ClipBook. Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information & share it with remote computers. If the service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able to share information with remote computers. Should you wish to enable Users on other PCs to view data stored in the ClipBook Server then set this to Manual or Automatic (Although this setting isn’t necessary, Manual will suffice). Setting this to Disabled will disable others from viewing this data which is a useful security feature & recommended for standalone systems, similarly you can set this to Disabled should you have Network DDE & Network DDM DSDM inactive.

COM+ Event System. Supports SENS (System Event Notification Service), which provides automatic distribution of events to subscribing COM (Component Object Model) components. Set this to Automatic.

COM+ System Application. Manages the configuration & tracking of COM+ (Component Object Model) based components. Similar to the previous service you should also leave this set to Automatic to ensure proper running of the PC, or at least any COM+ components.

Cryptographic Services. Provides three management services: Catalog Database Service, which confirms the signatures of Windows files; Protected Root Service, which adds & removes Trusted Root Certification Authority certificates from this computer; & Key Service, which helps enroll this computer for certificates. For best system security/integrity I’d recommend setting this to Automatic at all times.

Creative Service for CDROM Access. This service is added during installation of Creative’s Disc Detector (Which is installed as part of Creative PlayCenter for Live! & Audigy Soundcards). Set this to Automatic if you have Disc Detector enabled, otherwise set this to Manual.

DHCP Client. Manages network configuration by registering & updating IP addresses & DNS names. If you on a network or have a permanent internet connection, connected to a specified DHCP server set this to Automatic. Those who are not connected to a Network (or specific DHCP server) set this to Manual. Should you have problems connecting to websites & such after setting DHCP Client to Manual then take the following steps.

1.       Click on Start, Control Panel then Network Connections.

2.       Select your connection, Right click on it & select Properties. Now select the Networking tab.

3.       Select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) item followed by the Properties button, then the Advanced button. Finally, select the DNS tab.

4.       Untick Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix & Register this connection’s addresses in DNS.

  1. Click Ok (several times) as necessary to apply the changes to your Network/Internet connection. You’ll need to re-connection to that affected connection for after the changes have been made.

Distributed Link Tracking Client. Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network domain. Those on a Windows 2000/XP Network using shared NTFS 5.0 formatted drives may find this service of some benefit, with the Distributed Link Tracking Client being able to update/fix links & shortcuts to files on such volumes. Set this to Automatic in such instances. On non-NTFS 5.0 Networks, or stand-alone systems you can set this to Manual.

Distributed Transaction Coordinator. Coordinates transactions that span multiple resource managers, such as databases, message queues, & file systems. Initially you should try setting this to Manual although should you experience problems with such transactional components (e.g. Message Queuing) set this to Automatic instead. Stand-alone systems should be able to set this to Manual without any issues at all.


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