When playing computer games (something I don’t have nearly as much time to do as I’d like), you want to maximize the performance of your computer for the task at hand. To do so, shut down all those unnecessary services to free up memory and some processor cycles.
Dump the following code into a batch file to shut down many services which you don’t need for most games (even network games). The batch file was written for a standard Windows XP Professional build, and includes a section for disabling Norton AntiVirus. Add your own net stop commands to the list to get rid of what you don’t need. Then, run the batch file (I call it stop.bat) to shut down these services.
net stop "automatic updates"
net stop "system event notification"
net stop "com+ event system"
net stop "error reporting service"
net stop iisadmin
net stop "kodak camera connection software"
net stop "licctrl service"
net stop "network connections"
net stop "network location awareness (nla)"
net stop "norton antivirus firewall monitor service"
net stop "norton antivirus auto-protect service"
net stop "pml driver hph11"
net stop "print spooler"
net stop "remote access connection manager"
net stop "security center"
net stop server
net stop workstation
net stop "shell hardware detection"
net stop "symantec core lc"
net stop "symantec event manager"
net stop "symantec network drivers service"
net stop "symantec settings manager"
net stop "symantec spbbcsvc"
net stop "system restore service"
net stop "task scheduler"
net stop "windows image acquisition (wia)"
net stop "windows management instrumentation"
net stop "windows user mode driver framework"
net stop "wireless zero configuration"
To start things up again, make a copy of the batch file, and change all net stop commands to net start commands.
What kind of improvements can you get? Well, with all these services started, my memory utilization was 254MB. After stopping them it was 193MB – a savings of 61MB! That’s guaranteed to give at least a small performance boost when shooting rebel scum in Star Wars Galaxies, or fighting on the battlegrounds of World of Warcraft…