XP Services Shutdown Issue - Help Needed

By badadjective ยท 7 replies
Feb 21, 2005
  1. Dear Readers:
    Many of us have changed the way Windows starts services by putting them on Automatic, Manual, or Disabled in the Services MMC of Windows XP.

    I have many services set to manual and disabled. Those that are set to manual do not automatically start with the system but generally start when needed. An example of this on my specific machine is the "Help and Support" Service, which starts only when I open Windows Help, not automatically with boot-up.

    My problem is, that this service, among others that are set to Manual, do not shut themselves down when the respective programs/processes are done. When I close Help, I want the service to stop to since I am no longer using it. It wasn't needed or started before I opened Help, so why should I want it to still run after I closed Help?

    Is there any way to set Windows, in the registry or whatever, so that Manual Services such as "Help and Support" and "Windows Image Acquisition" stop after I have used them? It seems that some services have no issue doing this on their own, while others do.

    Thank you for your help!
  2. serviceme

    serviceme TS Rookie Posts: 21

    As far as i'm aware it's not possible to have it automatic, but it's easily made almost auto with the follow commands, which should be entered into a batch file:


    This command starts a service, so isn't of much use to your situation, yet;


    Might help you here. Create a batch file with the following command

    NET STOP "Help and Support"

    Bear in mind the quotation marks are needed if your service has a space in it's name. Once made it's a simple double click on a desktop icon and your service is stopped once again.

    I know this isn't the exact answer you wanted, but hopefully this helps :)
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    A little testing shows that if 'help and support' is set as an automatic service rather than manual, then

    1. it does not start with windows
    2. it starts when you run it
    3. it stops again when you close it (takes a few seconds - be patient)

    So it looks on the face of it that by overriding the default setting, you are defeating one of the design features of Windows - that automatic services can open and close themselves. By contrast, a manual service will start only when required, but will not close themsleves (presumably by design, daft as it seems to sensible people). But then, who is to say that a service that you, as a user, decide to open, is not one that you, as a user, want running indefinately ? Very much depends on the service, doesnt it?
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    I am of the thought that a Service set to Automatic will start at boot. On the other hand, a Service set to Manual will start when needed.

    Yes, Services should be customized. It is not only a performance issue, but a security issue. Here are two sites for references on Service configuration:

  5. windmill007

    windmill007 TS Rookie Posts: 308

    Humm I just looked and all my services set to automatic are started (does this mean running and slowing my pc down??).
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    I too use a lot of Manual Start for Services on my laptop saving startup time and
    reducing paging.

    However, once started, the design of all services is to run until
    1. some manual intervention (ie stop)
    2. or system shutdown or restart

    don't go crazy on the issue -- all is well and there's nothing to be done :)
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Technically speaking, yes, this can slow a system down. Virtually all the Services in Windows XP come set to Automatic. The reality is that only a few actually need to start at boot and run in the background while most can be set to Manual.

    Use the referenced sites for help in customizing a Services. The most important thing to remember when working with Services is to check the Dependency tab- some Services depend on other Services to run and some other Services may depend on this Services to run.

    Customizing Services should be done with patience and references, but it should be done.
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I was not really wrong when I said services set to automatic do not necessarily start with Windows - there are several on my XP home whose status is blank.

    Furthermore, the example I gave 'help and support' may indeed be started with windows but not in any full sense, because it does not appear in Windows task manager until you open it from the menu, and disappears again a few seconds after your close it, so there must be two sorts of 'started' !! But, yeah, don't let it bother you.
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