One of the best ways to start evaluating and preparing for a new server operating system is to look at the basic services it runs. So, to help you become familiar with Windows Server 2003, we are offering a free download in the form of a Microsoft Excel worksheet that lays out—in gory detail—the default services of this new OS.

Using the worksheet
This Excel worksheet lists all of the services installed by default on a typical Windows Server 2003 installation. The services are listed alphabetically by name, and we’ve included Startup Type and Log On As columns, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A
A preview of the Windows Server 2003 default services worksheet

Startup Type shows the default startup setting (Automatic, Manual, or Disabled) for the service. Automatic services are the ones that the operating system automatically starts when the server boots up. They’re highlighted in yellow on the worksheet. Manual services need to be explicitly started by the administrator after the server has booted. Services that are disabled must be set to Manual or Automatic before they can be started. The Log On As column shows whether the service uses a Local System logon or a Network Service logon.

One of the handiest features of this worksheet is the description that’s available for each service. To see a description, just hover your mouse pointer over the cell that contains the name of the service. A comment box will pop up to display the description text (Figure B). The descriptions, which are based on Microsoft’s documentation, won’t appear when you print this worksheet.

Figure B
Hover the mouse pointer over the name of a service to see a description of that service.

Bonus material
If you want to compare the Windows Server 2003 services to those in Windows 2000, I recommend downloading our Win2K services reference sheet. It lists many of the most common services in Win2K and tells you which ones can safely be disabled to enhance security and performance. Another good way to get up to speed on Windows Server 2003 is by viewing the Webcast Windows .NET Server 2003: Upgrading, Migrating, and Restructuring Windows Domains.