Remote Access Auto Connection Manager

Services As described by Microsoft, “The Remote Access Auto Connection Manager service maps and maintains network addresses to connection destinations. This allows a destination to be automatically dialed from a program or from the command prompt. A network address can be an Internet host name, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, or a NetBIOS server name.” Though this description doesn’t make it clear under which circumstances the service is required, it is set to manual by default, so it will only be called when required, and based on the number of Google hits surrounding startup issues, it may be required often for some users. Continue reading “Remote Access Auto Connection Manager”

ReadyBoost

Services ReadyBoost uses flash memory devices as a disk cache which can help “service random disk reads with performance that is typically 80-100 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives.” You might think that if you aren’t connecting a flash drive, you don’t need this service, but ReadyBoost is also used to facilitate SuperFetch, which preloads applications based on past utilization to reduce load time. Once your PC gets to know you, disabling this service may actually make your PC feel slower, rather than faster, but the service is not required, and can safely be disabled if you so choose. Continue reading “ReadyBoost”

Quality Windows Audio Video Experience

Services Most useful for those running Media Center, Quality Windows Audio Video Experience (qWave) is described by Microsoft as:
“qWave is a collection of QoS-related software modules that run on devices in the home network. qWave supports multiple A/V streams (real-time flows requiring QoS) and data streams (best-effort flows, such as e-mail) simultaneously over the home network, while providing a high-quality A/V user experience. qWave is targeted for home A/V scenarios and is disabled in other environments, such as an enterprise.”

Since it is set to start manually by default, it will only run when needed, so disabling it will offer little benefit. Continue reading “Quality Windows Audio Video Experience”

Protected Storage

Services Once used heavily by Outlook and Internet Explorer to store sensitive information, Protected Storage (PStore) has been depreciated to read-only in Windows Vista in favor of the more secure Data Protection API (DPAPI). Browsing the internet you’ll find a number of programs that allow you to browse through the contents of Protected Storage on previous versions of Windows, but due to the read-only limitation, there is nothing to view on a Vista machine. I’m uncertain why this service even exists on Vista, since IE7 uses DPAPI and as Microsoft notes “…any application that tries to create new PStore data items will fail.” None-the-less, despite it’s default startup setting of ‘Manual’, I find the service is currently started on my machine, and disabling it has had no noticeable effect. Continue reading “Protected Storage”

Program Compatibility Assistance

Services As stated by Microsoft:

The Program Compatibility Assistant detects known compatibility issues in older programs. After you have run an older program in this version of Windows, it notifies you if there is a problem and offers to fix it the next time you run the program. If the compatibility issue is serious, the Program Compatibility Assistant might warn you or block the program from running. If that happens, you’ll have the option to check online for possible solutions.

For example, the Program Compatibility Assistant can resolve conflicts with User Account Control, a new security feature in this version of Windows that can help make your computer safer. Or, it can run the program in a mode that simulates earlier versions of Windows. The changes that Program Compatibility Assistant makes are done automatically, so you don’t need to make them.

Here’s more detailed information as well. If you know all your applications are compatible, or you don’t care to get any assistance in making them compatible, you can safely disable this service. Continue reading “Program Compatibility Assistance”

Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support

Services Occasionally when a problem occurs you may be prompted to send information about the issue to Microsoft. This helps Microsoft see where problems are occurring for their users, and sometimes suggestions on how to fix the problem are then given. If you never submit your information to Microsoft, this service isn’t needed, but since it’s set to manual by default, you won’t speed up your machine any by disabling it. Black Viper notes the following: Continue reading “Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support”

Print Spooler

Services This one is pretty easy to understand. If you need to print (note that not all print devices are physical printers, they could be XPS or PDF writers, etc), you need this service. If you never print, you can disable this service and save around 3-4MB of RAM. You can also disable this service temporarily by typing Net Stop Spooler at a command prompt with administrative rights (Net Start Spooler will start it up again). Continue reading “Print Spooler”

PNRP Machine Name Publication

Services PNRP is a distributed name resolution protocol allowing Internet hosts to publish “peer names” and the corresponding IPv6 address. This basically allows every machine running PNRP to have it’s own name on the internet without having to register a specific domain name. Originally available in Windows XP SP2, it is now part of Windows Vista, and requires IPv6 to work. Here’s an article that talks about PNRP, and even describes how to get it working. There is also tons of information on Microsoft’s Technet. As most users aren’t able to use IPv6 yet, the service probably isn’t necessary for you, but since it’s set to manual by default, there’s little reason to disable it. Continue reading “PNRP Machine Name Publication”

PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator

Services If you have a network with other devices on it, you may need this service. This service is responsible for looking on the network for devices, and including them in a ‘Plug and Play’ fashion among the hardware available to your computer. An example would be locating a Media Center Extender on your network, and allowing Media Center to communicate with it. If you don’t have any devices other than your computer that connect to your network (wired or wireless), you probably don’t need this one. Continue reading “PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator”