Wednesdays are software days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Once you start loading programs into Windows, the startup and performance has a tendency to slow down. The reason for this is many software packages now install services that run at startup and keep running — whether or not you are actually using the software. Even some of the services that Windows automatically runs are not necessary.
Eliminating completely unnecessary services can free up a large chunk of memory…and there are many articles out there on how to do it. You can start with the TechTree Guide to Useless Services.
But what about the things you need sometimes?
There is an easy way to manager services: good old DOS Batch files. You just need to know the name of the service.
Here is my example: once a month I do a full backup of my system using Norton Ghost. The only time I ever use it is for this, so it seems like a waste of RAM for me to have this service run all the time. I always run this program between 3 AM and 5 AM on the first Tuesday of the month. So using a combination of batch files and the Ghost built-in job scheduler, I can turn the service on, Ghost the machine, and turn the service off again.
To turn on a service, use the command:
NET START service name
In my case, this becomes
NET START "Norton Ghost"
To stop a service, use the command:
NET STOP service name
By creating two batch files, and using Windows scheduler to run these batch files, I have automated the system and minimized the load to my system.