Friday, February 11, 2011

Services In Windows XP

What are services?

By definition, it's a program that runs invisibly in the background. But can't the same thing be said for a number of programs that run in the background such as anti-virus programs? Yes, but the real difference is that services load and start running whether or not anyone logs into the computer, unlike a program that is launched from the Startup Folder under All Programs.

There are two ways to view Services on your computer. The first is to use the MS Configuration Utility by typing msconfig.exe in the Run box accessed via the Start Menu, followed by clicking the Services tab. If you want a quick visual of which items are running or stopped, this is fine, but the information is limited. The preferred way to make changes to services is to launch services.msc from the Run option on the Start Menu. The Services window shown below will open.

Looking at the Services window you can see it has columns for Name, Description, Status, Startup Type and Log On As. This provides a quick overview of all the services on your computer. Detailed information is available by clicking any of the entries. The four captures below show the property sheet, by tabs, for the Alerter Service.

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