Close running programs in XP

  twitcher 18:04 11 May 2003

When I wanted to use disc defragmenter under Windows ME, the advice was (with 2 exceptions) to close down all running programs by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and choosing “end task” to close each program. I am now running XP but when I press Ctrl+Alt+Delete I get the Windows Task Manager. Under “Processes” there are no fewer than 34 items shown. Do all these have to be closed? What about “Systray” which is not shown but, which had to be kept running under ME?

Can anyone please advise?

  Clivuus 18:24 11 May 2003

There is no need to shut down processes to run disc defragmenter, in fact if you do you will more than likely crash your machine. The processes that are running are mainly for the operating system. There are some that can be shut down, but I wouldn't bother as you don't say that your system is running slow. Just let the defragmenter do its job.

  VoG™ 18:29 11 May 2003

Start in Safe Mode then run degfrag. This ensures that only "essential" processes are running.

To get into Safe Mode, reboot and keep tapping F8 before the Windows boot-up screen appears. Then choose Safe Mode from the menu that should appear.

  twitcher 19:07 11 May 2003

Thanks for the responses. I also run Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum. Again, the advice was to shut down all running programs before copying CDs to avoid "buffer underrun" - does this still apply to XP? And what about installing new software?

Sorry to be a pain, but I'm not used to XP yet and don't want to do anything to crash my PC.

Any advice would be appreciated.

  scannerman 20:41 11 May 2003

I use XP and Easy Creator 6 and it also suggets you close all running progs.

Well i do not and have had no problems.

Also running Windows98 and Easy5 i never closed any progs and never had a problem.

May i suggest as an experiment you use cd-rw discs then you can always erase the disc if you get burn failures.

Once you are sure of your self go and burn for real.

  powerless 20:56 11 May 2003

Those essential processes are interesting in safe mode as there is only 8 running.

I know have 28 running ;-)

  twitcher 22:26 11 May 2003


I agree, it does seem odd. Surely XP doesn't need THAT many more essential applications to run than ME. It's one of the reasons that made me raise the question in the first place. If the standard ME "processes" had shown up in the Windows Task Manager, I wouldn't have had a problem - but 34!!

  powerless 22:41 11 May 2003

It does not need all of them running as some are not essential. I leave them as they are as my computer just runs fine, i doubt you would see much of a performance gain by disabling the non essentials.

Most services are set to AUTOMATIC meaning they start when Windows Starts.

Some are MANUAL meaning they only start when they are needed.

The rest are DISABLED so they shut up and stay quiet.

Some services need other services to run. So if you go messing with them it could cause havoc. I leave it as it is...

However this guy look likes hes been experimenting click here

Hmm anyway...

The processes are different to Applications (programs) XP is good in that it can defragment your HDD with programs running. There is no need to close anything down.

What you probably have for 32 processes is programs that are set to start up at startup. You can top these from starting (if you dont want them that is).

Start > Run > Type: MSCONFIG > Then click ok, now click on STARTUP.

You'll probably see a bunch a ticks, they are the programs (Not services) set to start when your computer starts.

You can if you wish remove all ticks. This will aslo improve boot times as windows does not have to load them.

If you want to know what are you stopping from starting compare what you have with click here

As vog says do it safe mode.

  powerless 22:44 11 May 2003

Defragment in safe mode - i mean.

This way nothing gets loaded (only the very basics.

  twitcher 23:12 11 May 2003


Thanks to you and everyone else for your helpful responses. As both you and scannerman seem to have survived after leaving these various processes running, I think I'll try doing the same. If things go awry, I'll try starting in safe mode.

All the best.

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