Don’t Disable Any Default Services in Vista

So-called security “experts” often say you should disable any unneeded services in order to “harden” your operating system. When it comes to Windows Vista, this is not good advice.

Why not? Well first off, the way Vista is delivered to you is the way Microsoft has tested it, and if you disable any of the services that are running by default in Vista then you’re moving into unchartered waters i.e. to “flavors” of Vista that have not been thoroughly tested. This means you’re going to have to assume all the risk if something unexpectedly breaks—you won’t be able to blame Microsoft for what went wrong.

Second, there’s the very real possibility that something could go wrong if you go ahead and disable some service that you don’t think is important for your system after reading the official descriptions of each service running on your system. Why is that? Because some services may have additional purposes or functions that are not included in the official descriptions of the services.

A good example is if don’t want users to use Windows Meeting Space on their computers. Does this mean you should go ahead and disable the Peer Name Resolution Protocol service on which Meeting Space depends? No, that’s a bad idea, as disabling this service may result in other types of issues coming to light later on. What you should do in this case is deploy Vista without the Meeting Space package installed. Or you can use Turn Windows Features On Or Off in the Programs And Features tool in Control Panel to uninstall Meeting Space after installation if needed.

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