Starting and Stopping Services

Whenever you start Windows NT/2000/XP a number of services start automatically. Which services these are depends on how you have your system configured. Many systems are configured to start the services that Microsoft have configured as the default services to start.

Depending on what you are using your computer for, you may not want to run all of the services that start automatically or there may be services that you want to run that do not start automatically. There may also be times when you need to run a service for a limited period of time that you do not need to have running all of the time.

To be able to amend which services are running you need to first sign on with administrator access. Once you are signed on, go to the Control Panel and open the Services dialog.

NT Services Dialog

The scrolling window on this screen displays a list of all of the services currently installed on your system together with their current status ("Started" for the services currently running and blank for those that are not) and whether they start automatically when you start your system or need to be started manually.

To start a service that is not currently running, select the service from the list and then click on the Start button. If you wish to pass parameters to the service when it starts up, type them into the Startup Parameters field before you click the Start button.

To stop a currently running service, select the service from the list and click the Stop button. Note that stopping the server service will completely disconnect your computer from the network without issuing any warning. As an alternative to stopping a service that you intend to restart later in the session, you may want to consider Pauseing the service instead so that you can Continue the service rather than having to restart. If you pause the server service then Administrators and Server Operators will still have access to your computer across the network.

To change whether a service starts automatically when the system boots, select the service from the list and click on the Startup button. Another dialog box will open allowing you to configure the service for automatic startup, or to alternatively set the service so that it needs to be manually started when required.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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