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  1. Lounger
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    I prefer to run my PCs with as few apps and features as possible. My logic is: fewer apps, fewer files to scan, less memory use, quicker startup, and fewer malware risks. Consequently, would it do any good to turn off the Windows features I never use? In particular, I have no need for Windows Media Center, Windows FAX and Scan, or Windows Gadget Platform. Would turning off these features reduce RAM utilization, speed startup, etc? If I do turn any of them off, is there anything I should do before turning them back on again?

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  3. Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Donald,

    The good news is if you turn these features off, they will not utilize resources and Windows and you will have a leaner running machine. It is also good news that if and when you want to cut these same features back on, you just do it the same way you turn them off. There are no extra steps to take to do so. They will still reside on your hard drive, so it is not the same as uninstalling the features and applications. That is what makes it easy to turn them back on. Enjoy.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  4. 5 Star Lounger
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    Might help a little (unless your system is already doggin'), doesn't hurt to try as Gerald said. I've read and heard you can blow away any little differences there might be by putting the OS on a fast SSD and you are probably not turning off the apps and risks that far outweigh others, namely Adobe pdf compatibility and flash, which is a log or two wider, fatter and slower than most. Seems all the "good" stuff takes a lot more "umph" to run. If you went back to 3.11 for instance, you wouldn't have all that modern overhead and you'd have the fastest working system on the planet!

  5. 5 Star Lounger
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    I agree, and I do exactly that, turn off anything that is not needed or desired. I disable or set to manual all services that are not needed, for example, you do not need the Computer Browser service. If the PC is a desktop that is using a patch cable connected to your router, you don't need Windows Wireless Zero Configuration. Another one that can usually be disabled is Internet Connection Sharing. Of course, if it is not apparent what a service does, leave it alone.

    A lot of software that you do want loads junk on startup that you often don't need. For example, both MS Office and Open Office run a quick start type of program that just sits in memory. I found that they really don't do much except slow down the system startup. Java likes to drop a automatic updater in startup. Again, all it really does is slow down startup.

    My PCs tend to run smoother and "snappier" after going through a "tweaking" process for things like these. Take some time and go through your services that are set to Automatic and see what you don't need. Use Autoruns and look at everything that is running on startup. You might be surprised at what is really loading after you log in.
    Chuck

  6. Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I've always been an advocate of stopping apps running in the background unless it's something that's needed such as AV/AM. I have exactly 4 apps running, the aforementioned AV/AM (MSE in my case), my laptop touchpad program, an app that allows me to send texts through my Blackberry from my PC and an app that helps me to confugure my Windows Fireall. That's it. It seems Adobe products also like to insert themselves at start up. Totally unnesessary. Shut down all the apps you don't need and see how much quicker your PC responds.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  7. Lounger
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    I'd like to thank everyone for their guidance. Based on your input, I've turned off Windows FAX and Scan, Windows Media Center, and the Internet Printing Client. I've also removed Shockwave Player and Quicktime. I added those two apps, but later realized they duplicate Flash and WMP. (I don't really care for annamations on web pages anyway.) One more program I'd like to remove is Acrobat.com, but I understand it's coupled with Adobe Reader 9 so some extent. If I uninstall Acrobat.com, will it just get reinstalled with the next Adobe Reader update?

    I know there's a lot of stuff being loaded at startup. One feature of Norton Internet Security is a list of all the startups. It's pretty easy to see what's loading what. I wasn't aware there was a way to stop some of the autoruns or to turn off Services. If someone could give me a bit more detail on how to do that, I'd appreciate it.

    As I mentioned initially, I just prefer to run a lean machine. It's probably because I learned to use computers years ago in a corporate environment. I still look at them as productivity tools rather an entertainment devices.

  8. Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Donald,

    There are some good free replacements for Adobe Reader that are well worth considering. Each has a smaller footprint and is lighter on resources:

    FoxIt PDF Reader , Nitro PDF Reader , and PDF-xchange-Viewer . I would keep Adobe Flash as so many web sites require it for animations.

    As far a weeding out many startup software, check out Autoruns as Chuck mentioned in Post 4. Read the info on Autoruns and check out their forum as well.

    Somes Services can be disabled, but the ones that can be safely disabled vary from computer to computer depending on how ones machine is set up to function. Some Services are absolutely essential and should never be tampered with. The best gains will be had by eliminating unnecessary startup applications. If you really want to delve into the Services, check out this SevenForums tutorial. Be sure to note the cautions and warnings contained therein. Also, the Black Viper link referred to in the tutorial is a very good place for information about Services.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  9. 5 Star Lounger
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    Do Norton Internet Security and lean machine go together? I ask because I haven't used it in years but always hear on many a tech podcast that all a technician did was add more RAM and remove Norton to bring "surprising" life back into an older system. I think its not just having fewer programs running...its having the most effective programs running that are also lean. I've heard Norton can be effective in certain stripped down versions, but always that it is quite the opposite of lean.

  10. Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    Do Norton Internet Security and lean machine go together? I ask because I haven't used it in years but always hear on many a tech podcast that all a technician did was add more RAM and remove Norton to bring "surprising" life back into an older system. I think its not just having fewer programs running...its having the most effective programs running that are also lean. I've heard Norton can be effective in certain stripped down versions, but always that it is quite the opposite of lean.
    The last couple of version of NIS have been much better on system resources. More recent reviews have been very favorable.

    Joe

  11. Lounger
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    I've heard about and experienced some of the aggravations of the Norton products on my former XP desktop. I wasn't aware of MS Security Essentials when I put Norton Internet Security on my new Windows 7 laptop in July. (Only paid $20 for it at Office Depot.) Internet Security does offer a few useful features and some nice reports, but I don't think it's worth the full price or the complexity now that MS has a viable alternative. We added two netbooks to the family several months ago and installed Security Essentials right away on both. I like it. When my subscription for Internet Security expires, I'll probably switch to Security Essentials on the laptop as sell.

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