Our second Q & A of the week comes from Tim via the reader feedback
page. Remember to try our friendly forums
for help too.
Q: I just finished reading your
guide to Windows XP services
. When I checked what services were present on my system and compared them to
the list in the article, I found I had several additional ones. Does this mean I
have viruses or spyware on my computer? I have scanned for viruses but
it says I am clean. What should I do?
A: If you have installed much software on your Windows
2000/XP system, chances are that you will have a few extra services, as many
programs install their own services into Windows as part of their normal
operation. In general, any program that needs to run itself or a
portion of itself constantly will install a service. In your case, the
anti-virus software you are running is likely the source of several of the extra
services you are seeing. The guide in the article was more of a general reference than an explicit
checklist of what should be running on your XP system. I've
added a line to the article to reflect this, to avoid further confusion.
If you are still concerned about the
additional services, anti-virus and antispyware scans are still the best
way to go. You did not mention using an antispyware tool, so download Microsoft antispyware or Ad-Aware (or both) and scan your computer again. If
you still get a clean bill of health, chances are the extra services you are
seeing are benign.