Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Windows 7 Optimization – Remove Unnecessary System Services Part II

As we discussed yesterday, the systems services area includes a significant number of items that are likely not being used and are just robbing CPU and memory resources from the user community. In today's article, we will cover the 2nd half of these services that can likely be turned off and disabled in your environment with little or no effect on the user community.

Offline Files

Before you reach for the pitchforks and torches, I am well aware that this service can be unbelievably useful for the mobile worker. In fact, it is one of the tools that I rely on nearly every day. The key here though is that it is a tool for the mobile worker. In most environments, the mobile workforce is the minority; typically not more than 25%-40% of the overall user base. For the remainder of the workforce, this service has little, if any, value as they should have live access to the source materials nearly all the time. If you are using a scriptable image deployment system like the OSD component of SCCM, it is a simple matter to re-enable this service automatically as a part of your task sequences that address laptop computers. Even if you are not, it is a simple step to re-enable it as a part of the build process or in response to user inquiry.


Like the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service, this is another one of the "form over function" services within the OS. This service is responsible for providing user experience theme management. Together with the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service, the Themes service provides the heart of the "Aero Glass engine".
Don't get me wrong, the Windows 7 Aero looks awesome and can even be a plus. However, disabling the themes and Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service to make it look like Windows 2000/XP could save you several hundred MB of RAM. In a 32-bit OS, several hundred MB of RAM is significant and could keep end-user workstations from paging when using more memory intensive applications and improving overall system responsiveness. On a 4GB machine, disabling these 2 services could result in an additional 10% of system RAM being available for end-user applications without paging. On a 2GB machine, the effects are even more significant.

Windows Media Player Network Sharing

This service shares Windows Media Player libraries to other networked players and media devices using Universal Plug and Play. If someone can come up with a business purpose for this service, I am all ears.

Windows Search

This is another one of the services that fills a very useful role for the mobile workforce, but not so much for the traditional desktop worker. Think about it; desktop search indexes files on the local workstation for faster searching. In most environments, users are strongly discouraged from storing files on their desktops in favor of using network shares for disaster recovery purposes.


There are likely other services that are providing questionable value for the resources they consume, but the nine services covered in the last 2 days should cover the vast majority of the "low hanging fruit". If you have others, feel free to add your two cents.

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