The Services Running On Your Computer

The Services are the various low-level system processes, that all programs and applications depend upon. While there are many services provided with the Operating System, all services are not essential on any given computer, and may not be running at any given time.

The essential services must be running, yet other services may have to be NOT running, on your computer. You must make the decision, then set the service in question appropriately.

You can start, stop, change startup status, and / or query the status of a service interactively (using a GUI), or from a command window (using a script).

You can use the Services wizard, interactively.

  • Control Panel.
  • Administrative Tools.
  • Services.
  • Find the service in question, and double click on it.

Do you need the service running?

  • What is its Status? If not Started, then Start it.
  • What is its Startup Type? If not Automatic, then set it to Automatic.

Do you need the service not running?

  • What is its Status? If not Stopped, then Stop it.
  • What is its Startup Type? If not Disabled, then set it to Disabled.

If the service wouldn’t start, or if its Startup Type wouldn’t change, it may have a dependency. Look on the Dependencies tab, under “This service depends upon the following system components”. Make sure that everything there is present on the computer, and all services listed are Started.

You can also use the Services Controller, aka “SC”, from a command window. Observe the spaces in the examples below; they are essential.

  • To find ot the status of the browser service, enter

    sc query browser

  • To stop the browser service, enter

    sc stop browser

    .

  • To start the browser service, enter

    sc start browser

    .

  • To disable the browser service at startup, enter

    sc config browser start= disable

    .

  • To enable the browser service at startup, enter

    sc config browser start= auto

    .

For more information about the Services Controller, see Using Sc.exe and Netsvc.exe to Control Services.

If no help yet, check Event Viewer for additional clues.

For more information about the many services, the Internet expert is BlackViper, and you can (currently) refer to a mirror of his website Windows XP Home and Professional Service Pack 2 Service Configurations.

Note that each service has TWO identities. Some utilities and wizards might use one identity to refer to a service, others might use the other. The Browser Service has, for instance,

  1. Service Name: Browser.
  2. Display Name: Computer Browser.

The Workstation Service has,

  1. Service Name: lanmanworkstation.
  2. Display Name: Workstation.

Don’t be confused if you can’t find a particular service in a list, or if the SC command doesn’t seem to work. Make sure that you know both identities for the service that you’re interested in.

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