MS-Config: can anybody point me to a site to help determine what I do and don't need?

I’m running Windows Vista on a Compaq laptop with only half a gig of memory, and my primary use for the machine is (a) word processing/spreadsheet/presentations and (b) very light net surfiing. I have no interest in playing any games more intensive than Solitaire, and though I occasionally watch videos on the machines it’s not an every day thing. I’d like to deactivate any many services and start-up memory hogs as possible. Through trial & error I’ve already found that Office 2007 requires only two Symantec services to work properly. Anybody with further input is welcome to chime in.

Just google each service name. Honestly you dont need anything except for your antivirus and firewall. Disable any drivers you see because the drivers will still load but just without there interface. You dont need your Reltek icon in your system try. Secondly dont use msconfig. Use the services in the Admin Options in the control panal to disable services.

is a great site to tell you what you dont need. You can use the windows XP part for vista

Here’s another searchable site:

How much are you really saving though?

here’s the opinion of The Elder Geek

Frankly, I don’t recommend you change any of the services from the default installation of XP. Yes, you may pick up a tiny performance gain by fiddling with the settings, but it won’t be anything substantial. It’s just my opinion, but if you are in a situation where these gains are necessary to achieve an increased level of system performance, it would be wiser to upgrade the physical system to one that is adequate to benefit from the XP operating system.

Anyone got the Dope on this?

It’s been my experience that it’s not the services that XP loads that are the resource hogs, but it’s all the add-on crap from each piece of software that you install. Every “status monitor” and “quick starter” is only a small program in itself, but if you add them all up, especially on a lower-end machine, it rapidly becomes a major drag on startup performance.

The additional question is, of course, whether you need all that junk. Personally, I find that I’d rather wait the couple of extra seconds it takes to start Adobe Acrobat without the quick starter, or find out how much ink I have in my printer through the application, rather than having those things constantly running in the background. The only things I allow in my startup are my anti-virus (AVG).

Looking at the list of things I’ve disabled, we have:

Adobe Photoshop Album Starter
Acrobat Reader startup
MSN Messenger
Picasa Media Detector
QuickTime scheduler
RealPlayer updater
Java Update
Microsoft Office Startup
OpenOffice QuickStarter

And that’s from a laptop I haven’t been using for very long. All those would easily add a couple of minutes to the startup time, and sit around hogging memory without really giving me any tangible benefit. If I had any recent audio or sound or printer drivers, you can bet they would have some sort of little widget that doesn’t do anything but flash lights at you.

So… I think the straight dope is that you can clearly gain a lot by disabling startup programs; the only question is seeing what you really want and what you don’t.

I’ve used The Ultimate Troubleshooter to streamline my computers. It is good if you don’t want to trawl the internet tracking down every background task. I don’t think it is free though.

I suggest Autoruns for turning processes on and off. All the locations for auto start up are covered. I would look at stopping the auto start programs that you installed first.

In MSCONFIG, you can just “Disable All” with reasonable safety. Next time the OS loads, it knows what it needs and will start them. I’ll stop short of actually recommending this, since I don’t know your config scheme, but it’s pretty unlikely that you’d shoot yourself in the foot by pulling this particular trigger. :wink: