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Stopping Unneeded Services In Windows Server

By default Windows 2008 starts with a number of services that actually do not need to be running. Many of these services can impact performance and can also compromise security on your server. This article identifies some of these services and lets you know which ones are safe to disable. (Please do not disable if running Plesk CP)

Services That Can Be Disabled

The services in question here will be the ones that Windows 2008 sets up as an automatic service, which means as soon as your server is powered on, they start. Our goal is to stop as many services as possible without disabling any needed services for the server.

To get started, log onto your Windows 2008 server. Once you are logged in, there are two ways to get to the services. The first is to navigate to Start > Administrative Tools > Services, while the other is to simply go to your run command prompt, type "services.msc" and then press enter. Now that you are at the services, you can begin.

    • DHCP Client - Registers and updates IP addresses and DNS records for this computer. If this service is stopped, this computer will not receive dynamic IP addresses and DNS updates. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start. Since we don't run DHCP on our servers, this can be disabled.

    • DNS Client - The DNS Client service (dnscache) caches Domain Name System (DNS) names and registers the full computer name for this computer. Since provides you with DNS servers there is no need to have this enabled. However if you plan on running your own DNS server this will need to active.

    • Distributed Link Tracking Client - Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network. Unless you are running an Active Directory Domain, this service is not needed.

    • Human Interface Device Access - Enables generic input access to Human Interface Devices (HID), which activates and maintains the use of predefined hot buttons on keyboards, remote controls, and other multimedia devices.  This can safely be disabled for a Virtual Server, however Dedicated Server users may want to keep this enabled.

    • IP Helper - Provides tunnel connectivity using IPv6 transition technologies (6to4, ISATAP, Port Proxy, and Teredo), and IP-HTTPS. Since is currently not using or offering IPv6, this service can be stopped.

    • Network Location Awareness - Collects and stores configuration information for the network and notifies programs when this information is modified. If you use the Windows 2008 Advanced Firewall, you will may not want to disable this service as it provides the firewall with specific settings. However if you are not using Windows Advanced Firewall or have a hardware firewall then you can safely disable this.

    • Print Spooler - Loads files to memory for later printing. Unless you are setting up remote printing, this service can be disabled.

    • Windows Error Reporting Service - Allows errors to be reported when programs stop working or responding and allows existing solutions to be delivered. Also allows logs to be generated for diagnostic and repair services. Service is not needed and can safely be stopped.

    • Windows Firewall - Windows Firewall helps protect your computer by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. It is important that any server that is exposed to the internet to also have a firewall running. However if you are using a hardware firewall, this can be disabled.


  • Windows  Audio - Manages audio for Windows-based programs.  If this service is stopped, audio devices and effects will not function properly. Since your server is not local, there is little need to have audio services running on it. If you are rnning a media services such as Windows Media Server or Shoutcast, this will have no impact since the audio from the media server is sent to the client. This can safely be disabled.

If you have a question regarding the services cited here or any other service that is running on your Windows Server 2008, please contact the DNN4Less Support.

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  1. Senior Engineer Jessie

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