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Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

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Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby neddac » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:24 am

Hi,

Does anyone know of any guides for stripping a PC of unwanted programs and services to improve performance for music software?

I don't intend on having this PC online nor use for anything other than one or two music programs so I'm guessing there are many background services I could disable permanently.

Thanks!
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:59 am

Others may be able to give specific help, but I'd say just use the PC as is and stop worrying about it. Modern PCs have more than anough grunt to run audio tasks without optimisation.

Just make sure you image copy your hard drive as soon as it is clean and ready to go, and image copy it before you make any significant changes. That should keep you safe. Run Ccleaner every once in a while to clear out accumulated rubbish.

All of my PCs, studio included, are on line - it's never caused me a single problem. Others will differ on this point too.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby neddac » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:02 pm

My PC is a few years old. I'm trying to free up some CPU resources
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:20 pm

It depends on your DAW, but you'll safely free up more resources using bounce/freeze functions than turning off a few services.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:21 pm

What OS is it...? If you Google, eg, "Optimise Windows XP for audio" you'll find various summaries. Eg:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar02/a ... an0302.asp
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Folderol » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:16 pm

Assuming any version of windows, a good registry cleaner can make a huge difference to startup, load and save times. Not much effect on stuff once it's up and running.

As mentioned above, you're better off disabling services rather than deleting the programs. You never know what you might break otherwise.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby The Boogiemen » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:56 pm

The Elf wrote:It depends on your DAW, but you'll safely free up more resources using bounce/freeze functions than turning off a few services.

^^^ This
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:23 pm

Another +1 for bounce/freeze functions

Re de-activating unwanted services, I performed a very telling test some years back while writing the feature entitled "PC Musician: XP Tweaks For Music - The Audio Tweaks That Work - And The Ones That Don't!":

www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep06/articles ... n_0906.htm

The telling test was subsequently reported in my PC Notes column in the following issue:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct06/articles ... s_1006.htm

"Further to my PC Musician feature concerning Windows XP Tweaks in last month's SOS, you may remember that, as an experiment, I carefully disabled a total of 46 Windows Services on my music partition, according to a list provided by a well-known commercial builder of music PCs. This effort resulted in absolutely no change in CPU overhead, a fairly insignificant release of just 8MB of system RAM and no measurable improvement in song performance, confirming my opinion that tweaking Services is a pointless exercise.

I also warned of possible instability as a result of tweaking Services. Well, I left my super-clean music partition with these tweaks in place, and during the next week found time for several long sessions working on some of my own songs. While my music applications all booted up correctly and seemed to run as before, during each session I experienced a number of infuriating crashes, particularly with Gigastudio 3, and I eventually found a sequence of actions that would crash the Gigapulse reverb window every time, with an application error that required a reboot. Cubase SX 3 seemed less affected, although on the second session it also crashed badly (previously a rare occurrence on my PC).

Fortunately, I'd created a hard drive image immediately before the Service tweaks, so I could restore my partition to its previous state. As soon as I did so, my application crashes disappeared, and I was once more able to work with Cubase SX rewired to Gigastudio over an eight-hour session, without any bad behaviour at all from my PC.

So let me reiterate my previous advice from last month's feature: "Disabling various Windows Services in an effort to further streamline your PC's audio performance is, in my opinion, pointless. Moreover, if you don't know exactly what you're doing, your system can become unstable or even refuse to boot up afterwards." Let me now add to this that even if you do know what you're doing, and carefully follow a list published on the Internet, you can still end up with an unstable PC. Just say no to Service tweaks!"

Hope this helps!


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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:18 am

Some programs that are set to launch at startup use a lot of memory, so you should check what is in the startup folder for the users that will be making music. Clean those out of stuff you don't need like email programs, etc. Lots of applications go into the startup folder by default when they are installed so that they load fast. And don't forget to check the 'all users' folder if you have one. You don't need anything at all in your startup folder to run a dedicated DAW - except maybe you want to launch the DAW itself.

You can also disable your network adapter.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Persian Bit » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:29 pm

If you're using windows XP, select 'Run' from Start menu and enter "msconfig"

This will open your system configuration panel which let you see and activate\deactivate all services and startup loaders. There are a lot of useful tools in this panel [You can also speed up your PC's boot up. No wonder why it takes ages to boot,default timeout is set at 30 seconds! you can set it to 3 seconds].

BE CAREFUL WITH THIS CONFIG PANEL since your system would fail to boot up correctly by using wrong settings. only tweak the stuff that you're aware of.

You can also try free system cleaners like 'CCleaner' to optimize your windows and clean up your registry. Don't forget to always make a backup of your registry before doing any serious service [programs like ccleaner usually prompt to back it up before their operation].
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Johnvich » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:41 pm

Many a time, useless files, spyware and junk files find their way into your system even without you being aware of it. Salution is that you need to use Krojam Cleaner for Speed up your pc.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:06 pm

Not sure what "Krojam Cleaner" is? Misprint for "Trojan Cleaner"? But yes, infections are a Bad Thing :-)

There's a Startup Manager in CCleaner which is rather more user-friendly than msconfig. If your System tray is full of crud it's easy to stop them starting. But there's really no need to obsess over a few non-essential background processes on today's computers with current versions of Windows.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:51 am

Johnvich wrote:Many a time, useless files, spyware and junk files find their way into your system even without you being aware of it.

This bit I agree with, though I can't vouch for the recommended software. You don't need to be on-line to suffer — files and software being transferred via CD, DVD, USB stick or any sort of external media hold the same potential for malware.

I fixed some horrible problems on my wife's Win 7 PC yesterday by uninstalling McAfee and Kapersky, and running Ccleaner, SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes. It needed all three — and I've yet to find a single solution that works for everything.

If it's Win 7 or above and a multicore/multiprocessor PC, I really wouldn't bother tweaking anything unless you find you need to. Installing a solid-state system drive can make things a bit speedier, though.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby feline1 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:02 am

My tip:
run a nice modern operating system like Windows 8.1,
where, when you run Task Manager, it actually PROMPTS YOU with a "hey! look! See these start-up tasks? They're taking xx seconds each to run? Are you sure you need them? Would you like to disable them to make things go faster?"
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Silver Raver » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:26 pm

Johnvich wrote:Many a time, useless files, spyware and junk files find their way into your system even without you being aware of it. Salution is that you need to use Krojam Cleaner for Speed up your pc.

I'm always extremely reticent about installing "PC clean up" type software recommended on internet fora.

It's better to stick with established, known and reliable programs like Malware Bytes.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby C-Bro » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Good stuff said already.

There is a nifty little utility xp-AntiSpy which you can use to switch off certain Windows Services.
Works for Win 7 as well!
As always, you should know what you are doing.

Use at your own risk!
http://xp-antispy.org/en/about/
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:21 pm

Matt Houghton wrote: — and I've yet to find a single solution that works for everything.

Not a fix-all solution but ESET scanner is pretty damn good and led me to sign up for general duties. I picked it up after a suggestion on these pages to deal with a nassty little ebug, ESET was the only prog to pick it up.

Off topic - soz.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:50 pm

shufflebeat wrote:
Matt Houghton wrote: — and I've yet to find a single solution that works for everything.

Not a fix-all solution but ESET scanner is pretty damn good and led me to sign up for general duties. I picked it up after a suggestion on these pages to deal with a nassty little ebug, ESET was the only prog to pick it up.

Off topic - soz.

You should also know about ComboFix.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix

In fact, the whole bleeping computer site is useful. When you're looking for a download of e.g. Malwarebytes, free of encumbrances and bloatware, the link on bleepingcomputer is the place to go.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby CS70 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:55 pm

Most processes are simply in waiting state - they don't really do much and are often paged to disk. What can disrupt system performance at the wrong moments are processes that wake up and whose image must be reloaded in core memory - usually with fragmented or almost-full disks, which increases I/O time - which may conflict with disk writing when recording (or playing, but that's less critical). Mostly these processes are network-related - barring the occasional timer, in a standalone computer there's not much for the cpu to do besides waiting for the user to punch something unless you're running a pacman demo.

So if you simply disable the network interfaces, bluetooth interface and everything that can allow interruptions from the outside world, you'll go a long way to improve things. That of course means no updates, no web etc - but when you work with recording audio can still be a good idea. In laptops enabling or disabling the radios for wireless for example is often done just by a button or a switch on the side.

Also the power management settings on a laptop tend to wake up at inappropriate moments, so it's a good idea to disable them altogether, or set them to never do any power-related adjustment.

Antiviruses can also be annoying - and are usually harder to disable, by design. Make sure you don't have any scheduled disk check and the likes. On certain old and less powerful pcs, it can be a good idea to kill them altogether - albeit you want to reboot before reconnecting the network.

Some video drivers are also annoyingly active - they're rather badly coded and do what's called "busy waiting" - consuming system resources just for waiting for the user to push a hotkey for rotating the screen upside down, for example. NVidia drivers were notorious for this. In certain cases it's possible to install only the driver bit and not the "management" layer - which gets rid of the problem.

A great tool to see what's using what is Sysinternals' Process Explorer, google it and it's easy to find. Incidentally, Windows 7 architecture changed to make heavy use of task scheduling, ando lots of companies have followed suit - and while things can be cleaned up, it's a quite tedious affair. You're bound to have the accidental wakeup, but you can have a look by using the (doh) Task Scheduler.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby RKS » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:33 pm

I always found start up programs to cause more of a hassle. Getting rid of services is good and all, but it can mess things up in odd ways when you least expect it. Adobe Acrobat hasn't been working for 6 months. When it bugged me enough that I checked, it turns out I switched a service off that it needs. Not a hint of Adobe in it's name either.

I would debate whether mid to high level core 2 duo machines really need the services tweaked, certainly I do not feel any Intel I core processors need anything.

Now, time for me to catch up on some serious PDFing.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby mick.n » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:35 pm

RobKellySound wrote: Adobe Acrobat hasn't been working for 6 months. When it bugged me enough that I checked, it turns out I switched a service off that it needs. Not a hint of Adobe in it's name either.


Now, time for me to catch up on some serious PDFing.

I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:36 pm

mick.n wrote:
RobKellySound wrote: Adobe Acrobat hasn't been working for 6 months. When it bugged me enough that I checked, it turns out I switched a service off that it needs. Not a hint of Adobe in it's name either.

I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.

Same here, but RobKellySound does make a good point that I can confirm from personal experience - disabling services can affect your PC in ways that are not immediately obvious, without necessarily boosting performance in the process.


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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:49 pm

mick.n wrote:I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.

"Less junk" - OK. But how "miles better"? They display PDF files on screen. How do you do it "better"?
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby RKS » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:29 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
mick.n wrote:I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.

"Less junk" - OK. But how "miles better"? They display PDF files on screen. How do you do it "better"?

I agree, but let's not get drawn into "my programs better than your program". There is enough of that in our game =P It just details the thread, especially when the user misread what program I was using.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby mick.n » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:13 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:
mick.n wrote:I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.

"Less junk" - OK. But how "miles better"? They display PDF files on screen. How do you do it "better"?

Simple....... less junk = miles better. Not that i really care about who uses what programs or for whatever reasons. Just an opinion.....is that ok?
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby RKS » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:53 pm

RobKellySound wrote:

I agree, but let's not get drawn into "my programs better than your program". There is enough of that in our game =P It just details the thread, especially when the user misread what program I was using.

Derails I should have said. Making spelling mistakes is no better I suppose
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby feline1 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:57 am

Martin Walker wrote:
mick.n wrote:
RobKellySound wrote: Adobe Acrobat hasn't been working for 6 months. When it bugged me enough that I checked, it turns out I switched a service off that it needs. Not a hint of Adobe in it's name either.

I ditched Adobe reader a few years ago & replaced it with free "Foxit Reader". Miles better & less junk.




Martin

Given that Adobe's spec document for the PDF file format is about as thick as two telephone directories, you can be pretty sure that all these cheapo freeware PDF viewers do *not* support every nuance and facility of the PDF file format. But Adobe's software does.
If you don't do anything fancy with PDFs, this may be meh to you, but if you do anything in graphic design, publishing, tech pubs, engineering drawings, etc, then you will be sensible and use the proper Adobe tools.
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Re: Guide For Stripping Unwanted Programs and Services on PC?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:20 am

Also, un-needed background processes are one thing. A few KB of code sitting on your disk available to run if required is another.
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