There’s an interesting blog by Mark Russinovich from Sysinternals in which they demonstrate and describe a way to shut down all Windows services (well, not all processes, but all services). This doesn’t mean your system will be very useful, it won’t, not hardly, but it’s still a useful read. To find out which services you can turn off to improve performance/boot time while not crippling your system, check out BlackViper’s list of services.
If you’ve never visited the SysInternals site you really should check it out. Those guys are amazing. They have long produced some of the best freeware utilities for technically minded Windows users. We use them regularly. Their freeware offerings include:
- Process Explorer (as Word is to Notepad, Process Explorer is to the built-in Task Manager) Ever wondered what process had a handle open to a file on a removable drive you’re trying to remove? You can search for the process in Process Explorer. Ever want to see which DLLs are loaded by which application? This will show you.
- Ever wanted to watch and see what file operations or registry operations a program is generating? Use their Filemon and Regmon respectively.
- Want to know which network connections are open? Tcpview will tell you.
There are literally dozens more applications and mini-applications they’ve made available. Most are free, they do have a couple of apps which have a professional version they sell.