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Windows XP Tools

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  • George Lake
    Hi All: Further to this morning s discussion about what goes on inside Windows XP, if you like to tinker (and I do), here are some websites you might find
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12, 2007
      Hi All:
      Further to this morning's discussion about what goes on inside
      Windows XP, if you like to tinker (and I do), here are some websites
      you might find interesting. If you're not interested in the insides
      of Windows, read no further.

      Make sure you have everything thoroughly BACKED UP, including the
      ability to re-install Windows itself, if necessary. Some of these
      programs allow you to screw up your system to the point where Windows
      will not start at all, so beware.

      In Windows XP (Home or Pro) go to Control Panel, Administrative
      Tools, Services.
      You will see there a long list of Windows "Services", some of which
      start automatically, some manually, some of which have been started,
      some of which are disabled, etc, etc. Getting this far is perfectly
      safe. If you are nervous, just close the window and nothing bad will
      happen. :-)

      What you can do in this screen is change the status of most of these
      services, possibly to make your system perform more effectively -
      ONLY DO THIS WITH GREAT CARE. You can totally destroy your system here.

      The descriptions in this window of many of the services are not very
      helpful - eg "Provides launch functionality for DCOM services". I
      find that 'Googling' the service name often produces multiple,
      sometimes conflicting descriptions of what they are and do, but may
      nevertheless be helpful.

      However, I have found the following sites seem to have a fairly
      complete picture of all the services and what they do, with
      recommendations about whether or not they can be disabled, or at
      least enough information that you can make your own decision. The
      third one suggest tinkering is a waste of time, but has a lot of
      helpful information anyway. :-) You will likely find services
      running in your machine that are on none of these lists - HP put some
      on their machines, Dell puts others on theirs and so on, but the
      majority are either put there by Microsoft or by one of the user
      programs that you have installed.


      For those interested in exploring Windows internals further, the
      following site has a list of free tools you might find useful:

      I have downloaded a couple of them
      - One explores all the programs Windows runs automatically, whenever
      it starts up - this program "shows you what programs are configured
      to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in
      the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your
      startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. A "Hide Signed
      Microsoft Entries" option helps you to zoom in on third-party
      auto-starting images that have been added to your system." It can be found at:

      - The other looks at processes running under Windows and "will show
      you detailed information about a process including its icon,
      command-line, full image path, memory statistics, user account,
      security attributes, and more. When you zoom in on a particular
      process you can list the DLLs it has loaded or the operating system
      resource handles it has open. A search capability enables you to
      track down a process that has a resource opened, such as a file,
      directory or Registry key, or to view the list of processes that have
      a DLL loaded." It can be found at:


      For those who like to tinker. :-)



      George Lake
      1140 Kildonan Pl, SW
      Calgary, AB, T2V 4B1

      email: george@...
      website: www.glake.ca

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