Saturday, October 18, 2008

Per Request: Vista Performance tweaking & “au revoir” Bonjour

Anonymous left a comment this morning that piqued my interest:

could you please create a useful post on uneccesary vista services running ? There is loads of services which i believe are not needed. Also how do we remove Bonjour from our systems? I avoided installing Adobe Version Cue from the design suite and it still installed :(

Sure mate!

Vista Performance Tweaking:

I don’t know if folks will like my response, but here it is.

On my personal Vista Home Premium system, the only ‘unnecessary” service I have tweaked is to disable Windows Defender from running. 

That’s it.

All the other default services I have left well-enough alone.


Well like many others, when we got our Vista system, we were very frustrated with it’s performance. The CPU was a dual-core and overall it was a glorious system.  In the end, my fix was not to tweak all the system settings but to boost the system RAM from the shipped 1 GB to the max 2 GB RAM.  Simply maxing out the available memory supported by the system with the fasted RAM compatible, made a remarkable difference and it now seems like a whole different system.  My Vista performance gripe instantly evaporated.

I only cut Windows Defender as it seemed duplicative with the other A/V-anti-malware solutions I was running on it from third-party software.

Upgrading to Vista SP1 also helped a bit more.

If you can’t get any more system-RAM (because of your budget or hardware limits) I would next recommend picking up the fastest USB 2.0 flash memory stick you can find and enable Vista's ReadyBoost feature on it, exclusively.

I’ve blogged about this “tweak” as well: Vista ReadyBoost (or: a Tale of Two Techies) – Grand Stream Dreams blog.

Now, I know my personal system answers may not sufficiently answer Anonymous’s question.

So first, I would encourage anyone who wants to start tweaking their Vista services for performance gains to do review the following links as homework.

To get a true technical understanding of the issues relating to Vista performance and suggestions for improvement you have to watch the following video from Microsoft.

A round-table discussion with Windows specialists led by Mark Russinovich, it addresses boot times and applets to common "misconfigurations."  Use this to learn how to optimize Windows Vista and what you can do to improve overall system performance.  (62 minutes, 26 seconds )

It’s a deep and well-represented coverage of major performance issues with Vista.  Everything from the hardware factors, signed/unsigned driver issues with performance, and other tweaks.  Technical stuff but anyone who really wants to effectively tweak Vista performance should view it first.

Not satisfied?

Well, then head over to the always controversial world of Black Viper.

Love his advice or hate it.  He certainly puts his heart and soul into his work.  I’ve used many of his tweak recommendations for XP in the past when RAM was in short supply on my systems.  With maxed-out system RAM, I don’t any longer.  Regardless Black Viper’s work is very thorough and provides supportive documentation to understand the “why” behind the tweak recommendations.

As always, performance gains will differ for each user due to system differences as well as all the drivers, software, and other things running between systems.  Your mileage may vary.

Au revoir, Bonjour

Bonjour is an Apple service that ships with many Apple products, including iTunes.  Most Windows users won’t notice or care about it’s constant installation on their system each time they install or upgrade iTunes.

However some folks (like me) just don’t want it on their system.

To un-install it for XP, I just go to “Add/Remove Programs” in the Control panel, find “Bonjour” and uninstall it. (Vista users go to “Programs and Features”.)


Along those lines, I also always go back (each time I update iTunes…grrrrr) and uninstall “Apple Mobile Device Support” as well.

Before I uninstalled them both, here is a list of all the locations Apple’s applications drop into on an XP system as found on my desktop system and using AutoRuns for Windows.  Not all of these are related to MobileMe or Bonjour, so disable/remove with caution.

Autorun Entry

Description - Publisher

Image Path


AppleSyncNotifier Apple Inc.

c:\program files\common files\apple\mobile device support\bin\applesyncnotifier.exe

iTunesHelper Module - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\itunes\ituneshelper.exe

QuickTime Task - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\quicktime\qttask.exe

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved

Bonjour Explorer Bar - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\bonjour\explorerplugin.dll

iTunes Mini Player DLL - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\itunes\itunesminiplayer.dll

Task Scheduler

Apple Software Update - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\apple software update\softwareupdate.exe


Provides the interface to Apple mobile devices. - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\common files\apple\mobile device support\bin\applemobiledeviceservice.exe


Apple Mobile Device USB Driver - Apple, Inc.


HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock2 \Parameters\NameSpace_Catalog5\Catalog_Entries

Bonjour Namespace Provider - Apple Inc.

c:\program files\bonjour\mdnsnsp.dll

Hope this helps!


1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

Maybe you can get some more performance by disabling some services you will *never* use... but it's not something I do much... of course I disable the iPod service, but that's Apple, so...
And Bonjour? Neat idea... but have a universal standard, Apple, and stop being annoying.