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Need Some XP Service Settings Input

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12 replies to this topic

#1
monroe

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Been working on "fine tuning" my Service Settings in XP. After digging around on Google for several weeks, I have questions on a few settings. First of all, would like an opinion on Manual settings ... several guides that I have been working with have some Services listed as a Manual setting ... for instance, Application Layer Gateway Service (ALG) is usually listed as a Manual setting and when I set it to Manual and check the settings after starting the computer, ALG is always "started". I have about five of these "Manual Service Settings" that are always running after starting the computer ... so I just change them to "Automatic". Anything wrong with that thinking?

Also, the Workstation (lanmanworkstation) setting seems to have recommendations from Automatic to Disable. Just curious what other XP users at this board are using.

Any suggestions for a good service guide also appreciated ... as I said earlier, I have found several that seem to "agree" on most of the settings but can differ (sometimes greatly) on a few.

thanks

Edited by duffy98, 23 September 2012 - 12:22 PM.



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#2
bphlpt

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One of the more accepted and detailed sites for service recommendations for XP and most of the other variants of Windows is Black Viper's site. Here's the link for one of the XP SP3 (32 bit) pages - http://www.blackvipe...configurations/.

Cheers and Regards

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#3
monroe

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bphlpt ... yes, that is one of my Service guides that I have from Black Viper. Very good web site with much info. I also stumbled across these guides as I searched around Google ...

Recommended Service Settings for Windows XP -- Comprehensive List


http://cybercoyote.o...y/serv-comp.htm

--------------------------

(PDF List Download)

Windows XP Services that can be Disabled

by Tom

Here is an exellent PDF that describes what Windows XP Services that can be Disabled and the consequences of doing so. The hope is that by unloading unneccesary services your XP system may run more securely and quickly. You’ve always known that you didn’t need many, many of the services that come bundled in XP, but if you’re anything like me you’ve avoided taking a systematic approach to disabling them until you have a comprehensive list of what is and is not really necessary.


http://www.digitalme...can-be-disabled


----------------------------

TweakHound's Super XP Tweaking Guide (You can download the Tweaking Guide in Word (.doc) format near the bottom of the page.)


http://tweakhound.co...upertweaks6.htm


... and of course the list from Black Viper ...

Out of curiosity ... what setting do you have for Workstation (lanmanworkstation) on your setup and what do you personally do for Service settings that are set for Manual but always seem to be on or "started" ? ... change them to Automatic?

thanks

Edited by duffy98, 23 September 2012 - 01:39 PM.


#4
bphlpt

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Thanks for the additional info sources. Personally, if any disagree with each other, I would take Black Viper's word over the others. But if any of them supply extra info, then that is great.

I haven't been on XP in about a year now, I'm on Win7 x64, but in both cases I've tended to take the easy way out - set things to Black Viper's "safe" settings and leave them alone unless I have a particular problem. My Workstation setting is currently Automatic. As to what I would do about the Manual settings that always seem to be "started"? If they seem to be able to start by themselves from the Manual state, I would leave them in Manual. If I was getting an error because they couldn't start, then I'd change them to Automatic.

Cheers and Regards

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#5
dencorso

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I leave Workstation on Automatic.

I also leave Network Location Awareness (NLA) on Automatic. This is just for the record, since I've seen it described nowhere else...
Many VPN and Wi-Fi drivers depend on it to complete their IP acquisition, so they'll remain continuosly "acquiring network address", when NLA is disabled. So, disable it and see what happens. If your internet connection gets IP normally, you're safe. If not, change NLA to automatic... manual is not enough.

#6
monroe

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Thanks guys for the information ... I wanted some input from members who have been around XP longer than I have. When I made the switch in early May from Windows 98SE to XP Pro, I knew nothing about "service settings". After getting XP set up and going ... then I saw tips and articles about making XP run better and faster ... discovered the Black Viper site and so on. I feel I now have a very good working XP setup ... but I just had some lingering questions about some service settings.

That's a good idea ... let the Black Viper XP guide have the "final say" over the other guides that are not in agreement. I hope today to make my final Ghost backup of my XP setup to have as a "Factory CD" ... that handy little recovery disc that used to come in the box (so long ago) with a new computer.

Again thanks ... maybe someone else is "new" to XP and can use the information also.

...

#7
GrofLuigi

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I like to think of some of these services as "pairs" or "groups" (regardless of the dependencies) and set their start state equal for all of them. You can learn something more about the groups in the dependencies tab, but it's not always accurate.

For example, Lanmanworkstation is kind of a sibling of Lanmanserver. They both are used in MIcrosoft Networking (file and printer sharing). It would make no sense to have one started and the other not (except in some marginal high-security situation, where you maybe would want to hide something from your users/slaves). Their third sibling is Browser. Netbios over TCP (or whatever it's name was, I'm not on XP right now) is also their relative. If you use file/printer sharing, you enable them all and have no headaches, it's that simple.

Another example is ALG. It serves (rough approximate explanation) to punch holes through Windows Firewall (legitimate ones, although holes can be punched in WF very easily, and every other aplication does that even without it). So it would make no sense to use ALG without WF, while the other way around... I have not tested. Probably could do without, but it always bothers me to see it manual and started, so I let it have it its way and set it to automatic - on computers where I use WF, which is very rare. :rolleyes:

Again, from memory, another group is Com+ Event System, System Event Notification and... I forgot which one, maybe WMI (but WMI is also associated with some others).

Remote Access Connection Manager and Remote Access Auto Connection Manager (that was easy :yes: ), but also Telephony. They usually start each other.

SSDP Discovery and/or Universal Plug and Play Device Host - if you use UPNP. By the way, even if you don't, one of them always gets started by itself no matter what, so I must set it to disabled.

And so on and so on... Ask about any service, I have investigated most of them and roughly know what they are for.

GL

#8
HarryTri

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Some services have strange dependencies. I once disabled the task sheduler service and, to my surprise, I discovered that Windows XP weren't creating prefetch (.pf) files any more!

I always love Windows XP!


#9
Kelsenellenelvian

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Personally (when I was into tweaking services) Most of them can be set to "Manual" and will not run unless they are actually needed. Thus you gain the benifits.

#10
monroe

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GrofLuigi ... yes, the services that you talk about in your post are mostly the ones I'm seeing when they are set to Manual they are always running also. I just set them all to Automatic. I don't use the Windows firewall ... I use an older version of Zone Alarm, when it was still just a firewall. I have ALG on Automatic since it is always started when I boot up. I also read that ALG is not needed for a 3rd party firewall and then I found other information that indeed ALG is needed for a 3rd party firewall or any firewall I guess ... just wasn't sure about that one (ALG) at all.

I have 16 services set at Disable ... mostly all that are in agreement with the guides. I'm inclined to agree with you Kelsenellenelvian ... maybe just set most everything to Manual and let them run if Windows decides they should ... but like Remote Registry, which I have set to Disable and since I am on unsecured Wi-Fi at the library and other places ... I am concerned that some services could be activated from outside and some of my information could could go out without my knowledge. I don't know enough about the services and WiFi and what someone might be able to do to my machine. Been on WiFi for several years now and have never had anything out of the ordinary happen yet. So, as I said earlier, I do have 16 services disabled ... I had 18 a few days ago but decided to set two of them back to Manual. Right now I have a fast running machine and no problems but I will still keep researching the service settings and hope for more input here ... I may make a few adjustments as I get more information ... would be nice if input from everyone could create a MSFN XP Service Guide with added information about a particular service that might be set at Automatic or Manual.

For example, I have lanmanworkstation on Automatic and lanmanserver on Manual since it isn't running ... but a month ago I had lanmanworkstation on Disable, from reading that it could be disabled, then I decided to put it on Manual but then the Guides I listed earlier have it set to Automatic and dencorso said he uses Automatic ... so that is what I decided and was asking about in my first post.

HarryTri ... thank for the Task Scheduler info ... I have that on Automatic, going with the Guides.

I might be back with more questions ... thanks.

Edited by duffy98, 25 September 2012 - 02:28 AM.


#11
monroe

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Found something interesting about the DNS service. It seems when searching around on Google to be 60% (off) - 40% (on) whether to Disable it or let it run on Automatic. I have tried it both ways and I don't seem to notice anything unusual either way.

Disabling the Windows "DNS Client" Service

http://support.simpl...nt-service.aspx

or ...

10 Windows XP Services you Should Never Disable

http://www.techrepub...ver-disable/960

DNS Client

This service resolves and caches DNS names, allowing the system to communicate with canonical names rather than strictly by IP address. DNS is the reason that you can, in a Web browser, type http://www.techrepublic.com rather than having to remember that http://216.239.113.101 is the site’s IP address.

If you stop this service, you will disable your computer’s ability to resolve names to IP addresses, basically rendering Web browsing all but impossible.


... a few comments from what others are doing with DNS Service would be appreciated ... On or Off.

Now, I came across this whole new idea (to me) just yesterday and I would like some input on this person's approach ... He leaves it running (default) but has made a registry script for Windows XP and Windows 2000 users to disable unsuccessful ("negative") DNS caching by adding three Registry Values (NegativeCacheTime, NetFailureCacheTime, and NegativeSOACacheTime, all not normally present), setting them to zero.

How does this idea sound to others here that have more knowledge on the subject than I have? The registry script file download link still works and then there is also a link to an "Undo File" ... a simple INF script to reverse things. So you let the DNS service run as normal (default) with this registry script file in place.


How to keep DNS Errors from slowing you down!


http://cable-dsl.nav...m/dns_cache.htm


Turn off unsuccessful ("negative") DNS caching

Applies only to Windows XP and Windows 2000.

Unsuccessful ("negative") DNS caching can be disabled by adding three Registry Values (NegativeCacheTime, NetFailureCacheTime, and NegativeSOACacheTime, all not normally present), setting them to zero. Since manual editing of the Registry is a tricky and risky business, I've provided a simple Registry script to do the job. (Click the link to start the download; save the script to your desktop; and then double-click on it to run it. When you get "Are you sure you want to add the information ..." dialog box, click Yes. The script can be tossed into the Recycle Bin after it has been run.) There is no real downside to making these changes -- just delay if you make repeated tries to an invalid Internet name. (Nevertheless, please note that you use this script at your own risk, and that it's always a good idea to back up your Registry before making any change.)

* Works for dial-up too!

Although it may not be as noticeable as on broadband, this problem can occur on dial-up as well, so turning off unsuccessful ("negative") DNS caching (as described above) is also recommended for dial-up.

* If you change your mind

To go back to Windows default behavior, simply remove the three Registry Values described above. Since manual editing of the Registry is a tricky and risky business, I've provided a simple INF script to do the job. (Click the link to start the download; save the INF file to your desktop; right-click on it, and then choose Install to run it. The INF file can be tossed into the Recycle Bin after it has been run.)
...

Edited by duffy98, 18 May 2013 - 07:56 AM.


#12
allen2

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Indeed those values will force your dns client to resolve everytime the failing dns name but it won't improve things because retrying to resolve something that timeout for example take a few seconds so caching is better way.
I disagree on the reason to disable caching negative answers also, as there is a command "ipconfig /flushdns" that will clear the cache without rebooting.
Also if you really want to improve the speed when browsing, the best way is by using caching proxy (like Squid) with a dns server (like Bind) but those usually are installed on linux.

#13
monroe

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allen2 ... I also found mention of that command "ipconfig /flushdns" but didn't try it till now.

DNS Client Service

Default Settings: XP Home - Automatic / XP Pro - Automatic

Is this service needed? ... No

Recommended Setting: Disabled

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to Flush your DNS

You're website's IP address may be saved in your computer's cache, so we'll need to clear this temporary data so that the IP address you just entered into your hosts file will take effect. To do so:

1. Click your Start Menu
2. Navigate to "Accessories" and click "Command Prompt"
3. In the command line, run the following command by typing it and then hitting enter: ipconfig /flushdns
4. The output should be similar to: C:\Users\username>ipconfig /flushdns

Windows IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


If you have any browser's open, close them and then open them again. You should now be
able to successfully test your website on your new server.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

However when I follow those instructions I get the ... Windows IP Configuration followed by an error message.

"An internal error occurred: A device attached to the system is not functioning. Please contact MS Product support for further help."

... I did add that Registry script that I mentioned earlier, do you think that is possibly causing the error message?

... when I started this post back last September (2012) I was just trying to fine tune the Services a little better and get some clarity on a few services that seem to be a tossup whether to run or disable. I have shutdown some, put some on Manual and all seems to be working OK so far. When I have time I go back into the Services every so often to research a few that I am still not sure about ... DNS Client is one of those that seem to be divided as to whether it should be Running or Disabled.

It's not critical I guess, just wanted to see what input from the forum would be.

...

Edited by duffy98, 19 May 2013 - 06:59 AM.





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