List of system processes

Any topic that does not fit into the other categories.

Moderators: usdcs, Andrew Lee, webfork

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Queue
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:41 am
Contact:

List of system processes

#1 Post by Queue » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:20 pm

This is half for developmental purposes but also half just for general knowledge; I'm compiling a list of critical Windows processes that a user should avoid terminating.

A really good resource for information about which services are critical:
http://www.blackviper.com/index.html

For WinXP:
System (the system process; I assume kernel)
smss.exe
csrss.exe
winlogon.exe
services.exe
lsass.exe
svchost.exe
explorer.exe (will restart if it crashes but stays closed if terminated)

spoolsv.exe (this is printing related, not actually critical)
alg.exe (firewall related, see note at end of post*)

For Win98SE:
kernel32.dll
msgsrv32.exe
mprexe.exe
mmtask.tsk
explorer.exe (actually fairly safe to close since it'll restart)
systray.exe
ddhelp.exe
wmiexe.exe

Are there any more which shouldn't be closed? Are any on this list not actually critical and safe to close?

I'll update this post with new information so it'll hopefully be a useful resource for... well, anyone who searches for this type of thing I guess.

Queue

* According to Neuber.com: Application Layer Gateway service is a component of [the] Windows OS. It is required if you use a 3rd party firewall or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) to connect to the internet. Do not end this program in task manager - you will lose all internet connectivity until next restart or login.
Last edited by Queue on Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
m^(2)
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:38 am
Location: Kce,PL
Contact:

Re: List of system processes

#2 Post by m^(2) » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:17 am

Queue wrote:services.exe
Sometimes there is more than one servicess process. Some services are more, some less important, but AFAIK none is critical.
Queue wrote:spoolsv.exe (this is printing related, probably not actually critical)
Definitely not critical.
Queue wrote:alg.exe
It's firewall. Not critical.
Queue wrote:explorer.exe (actually fairly safe to close since it'll restart)
It restarts only after crash, if you kill it, it doesn't. You can save some memory this way. ;)
Image

garbanzo
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 3:00 am

Re: List of system processes

#3 Post by garbanzo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:29 am

m^(2) wrote:
Queue wrote:spoolsv.exe (this is printing related, probably not actually critical)
Definitely not critical.
i concur! i use it maybe once a month to 'print' a pdf, so i just keep the service disabled until i need it, then turn it on for 2 mins.
Queue wrote:explorer.exe
i use an alt shell and an alt file manager. i can't remember the last i saw explorer.exe in my process list :)

good list, Queue. now what we really need is a list of services that should not be disabled, and those that really should (like security center!)

User avatar
Queue
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:41 am
Contact:

#4 Post by Queue » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:05 am

Bah, security center's harmless; just set anti virus to ''I'll monitor it myself'' and change the way security center alerts you to not alert you about automatic updates setting. Heh, yeah, that's basically the same as disabling it, so I guess disabling the service completely wouldn't be any different.

Anyhow, I bolded the processes that seem particularly important (like, if you close kernel32.dll on Win9x everything freezes, which makes sense...). I also added links to relevant Neuber.com entries where available; I really like that site for digging up information about various executables. The user comments can sometimes be disturbingly inane, but there's usually good info buried in there.

Queue

User avatar
grannyGeek
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:54 pm

#5 Post by grannyGeek » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:12 pm

I know you weren't asking for links, but just in case you've never been there, check out BlackViper. He has a pretty comprehensive descriptive list of services for Vista, XP, and Win2000. Some good tweaks, and some excellent rants, as well.

http://www.blackviper.com/index.html


(His site went AWOL a few years ago, and I was pleased to learn he's back online.)
You kids nowadays have it so easy.
Why, I remember when all we had was wood-burning computers!

garbanzo
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 3:00 am

#6 Post by garbanzo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:04 pm

thanks for the link grannyGeek. good to see he's updated his lists for SP3. i rely on this a lot after i reinstall windows to disable services and clean things up.

User avatar
m^(2)
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:38 am
Location: Kce,PL
Contact:

Re: List of system processes

#7 Post by m^(2) » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:02 am

garbanzo wrote:
m^(2) wrote:
Queue wrote:spoolsv.exe (this is printing related, probably not actually critical)
Definitely not critical.
i concur! i use it maybe once a month to 'print' a pdf, so i just keep the service disabled until i need it, then turn it on for 2 mins.
I fully understand that it may be critical in order to to some things. But it's not critical for the system to run properly. Just like with most things NOT listed above. ;)
garbanzo wrote:now what we really need is a list of services that should not be disabled, and those that really should (like security center!)
A hard thing as it highly depends on what do you want to use your OS for.
Image

Post Reply