Stopping/killing most thinkvantage/thinkpad/ibm software

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Steerpike
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Stopping/killing most thinkvantage/thinkpad/ibm software

#1 Post by Steerpike » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:55 pm

I'm still undecided as to whether the massive amount of software that is pre-installed on my new T60 thinkpad is worth it or not, and thus, I'm avoiding the urge to uninstall it all at this point (I haven't gotten around to creating install disks etc).

In the interest of troubleshooting, I've created a script that kills most tasks, and stops most services. In addition to the actual commands, the script includes some notes about what each process does (gathered from various sources on the web). I figured I'd post it here, even though it's a work in progress, in case anyone has comments/suggestions/etc.

Code: Select all

rem ======================================
rem kill unnecessary tasks, 
rem stop unnecessary services
rem run as an admin
rem ======================================

rem - reference: http://pcpitstop.com/spycheck/SWList.asp
rem - reference: http://www.processlibrary.com/directory

@echo off
rem --------- Thinkpad stuff -------------

rem tphkmgr.exe - thinkpad hotkey manager
rem - child of ...? 
rem - run from HKLM/.../Run
taskkill /IM TPHKMGR.exe /f /t

rem tponscr - Thinkpad hotkeys, onscreen display. 
Rem - Run from (not registry!) - starts when tphkmgr.exe runs (see above; 
REM - also TpScrex.exe)
rem - child of? 
taskkill /IM TPONSCR.exe /f /t

rem - TpScrex.exe - TpScrex.exe is the configuration utility for the ThinkPad 
rem - ultra Zoom application
rem - run from .... (not registry) - runs when tphkmgr.exe runs (see above)
rem - child of ... nothing - a root proc
taskkill /IM TpScrex.exe /f /t

rem - TpKmpSVC.exe - IBM KCU Service - IBM ThinkPad Keyboard Mapping utility.
rem - child of services
net stop "IBM KCU Service"

rem --------- end keyboard subset

rem amsg.exe - thinkpad Message Center (note, got a success response, 
REM but task still running.  Used /f, that worked)
rem - run from HKLM/.../Run
rem - child of ...? 
taskkill /IM amsg.exe /f /t

rem ezejmnap.exe EasyEject Utility.  Child of explorer. 
REM Part of Thinkpad Easy Eject Utility
REM - facilitates the removal of multiple devices from your computer by 
REM - enabling you to stop more than one device at once, rather than stopping 
REM - each device individually.
rem - KEEP THIS 

rem ipssvc.exe - Lenovo - virtual network client service
REM - produced by LanCom and offers a VPN Client service for their range of 
REM - products.  
rem child of services.exe
net stop "IPS Core Service"

rem - logmon.exe - Part of Lenovo Rescue and Recovery Client Security Solution
rem - child of tvtsched.exe - which is a child of services. 
rem - (web says) The process can be uninstalled in the Control Panel
rem - Logmon.exe copies the Windows logs to the /IBMSHARE directory so 
rem - they're available from the WinPE enviornment. 
rem - logmon is launched by tvtscheduler, so disable that being run (services), 
REM - or uninstall r&r
rem - could not kill - need to deal with parenet service tvtsched.exe in SERVICES
rem - kill via tvtsched.exe

rem - lpmgr.exe - part of thinkvantage productivity 
rem - child of explorer
taskkill /IM lpmgr.exe /f /t

rem - pdservice.exe - File privacy/protection software, provided by Thinkpad. 
rem - child of explorer
taskkill /IM pdservice.exe /f /t

rem - rrservice.exe - IBM Thinkpad Rescue and Recovery Service. TVT Service
rem - child of services
net stop "TVT Backup Service"

rem - TPHDEXLG.EXE - IBM HDD APS Logging Service
rem - child of services. 
rem - IBM Thinkpad Active Protection System.
rem - KEEP THIS

rem - TpShocks.exe - Responsible for controlling the IBM Hard Drive Active 
rem - Protection system found on newer models of IBM Thinkpads
rem - child of explorer. 
rem - KEEP THIS

rem - tvtsched.exe - Scheduling application found in IBM ThinkVantage
rem - child of services. Has a child - logmon.exe
net stop "TVT Scheduler"

rem - UCLauncherService.exe - ThinkVantage System Update service
rem - child of Services.
net stop "ThinkVantage System Update"

rem - ibmPmsvc.exe - Power management driver for IBM laptops. Provides support for the 
rem - use of four keys on the thinkpad keyboard with blue key tops - Fn, F3, F4 & F12 - 
rem - which have specific functions to control the standby and hibernate buttons. 
rem - Not required if you don't plan to go into standy or hibernate modes
rem - child of services
net stop "ThinkPad PM Service"

rem - ibmtcsd.exe - TSS Core Service
rem - child of services
net stop "TSS Core Service"
Also, while not specifically Thinkpad, I found these items:

Code: Select all

rem --------- ATI Display stuff -----------------

rem cli.exe - ATI catalyst driver, multimedia taskbar icon for feature/diag. 
REM killed TWO processes; not sure what child was killed. 
REM - run from HKLM/.../Run
taskkill /IM cli.exe /f /t

rem ati2evxx.exe - ATI External Event Utility 
REM - 2 instances running; one could not be 'taskkill' killed - child of services.exe - used "net stop" for that one. 
REM - instance that could be killed was child of winlogon.exe.  
taskkill /IM ati2evxx.exe /f /t
net stop "Ati HotKey Poller"

rem ----------- CD / DVD Writing software ------------------

rem dlactrlw.exe - Sonic Solutions cd/dvd burning solution 
REM - Drive Letter Access (is this only for packet writing?)
REM - can enable/disable DLA using properties sheet of a cd/dvd drive. Disabling does 
REM - not seem to get rid of this process or allow it to be killed. 
REM - child of explorer
REM - run by HKLM/.../Run
REM - attempt to kill 'Succeeds' but proc is still running (same PID). 
taskkill /IM dlactrlw.exe /f /t 

rem ezSP_Px.exe - "ezShieldProtector for Px" - Part of Drag n Drop CD/DVD writing Utility.  
rem - Child of explorer. 
rem - run by HKLM/.../Run
REM - Application that is installed by the Easy Systems Drag'n Drop CD & 
REM - DVD writing software found on most Japanese computers. If you're using 
REM - Easy Systems Drag’n Drop CD & DVD writing software, this piece of 
REM - software will not function without it.
taskkill /IM ezSP_Px.exe /f /t

rem ----------------- InstallShield stuff -----------

rem - issch.exe - install shield scheduler
rem - started from HKLM/.../Run
rem - child of ...? Explorer? 
rem - was this ever running on mine? it IS still in the registry run area
taskkill /IM issch.exe /f /t

rem - isuspm.exe - install shield component
rem - started from HKLM/.../Run
rem - child of ...? Explorer? 
rem - was this ever running on mine? it IS still in the registry run area
taskkill /IM isuspm.exe /f /t

rem dlg.exe - Digital Line Detect 
rem - child of explorer
REM - started by start/progs/startup
REM - Used with various brands of analog modems to detect whether the modem 
REM - is plugged into a digital (e.g., ISDN or PBX) line.
REM - Laptop/notebook users may want to keep this program running if they are
REM  prone to plugging the notebook into the wrong plug in hotels or 
REM convention halls.
taskkill /IM dlg.exe /f /t 

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#2 Post by jdhurst » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:13 pm

Up to the T41 (I don't have a T60) most of the IBM software was anywhere from modestly useful to highly useful.

From the Preload, I uninstalled Norton (to install Symantec), uninstalled IBM Java (to install newer Sun Java); uninstalled Software Updater (dud software) and otherwise left the preload installed and updated.

Now here is a point I have put forward before that is oft misunderstood: The *number* of processes has nothing to do with performance or operation. Processes do use memory, but I usually have about 80 processes running on my T41 and run at less than 2 percent CPU 95 percent of the time or more. So what, then, is saved by killing processes? Nothing on my machine.

Perhaps the T60 is different.
... JD Hurst

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#3 Post by Steerpike » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:04 am

jdhurst wrote: ... Now here is a point I have put forward before that is oft misunderstood: The *number* of processes has nothing to do with performance or operation. Processes do use memory, but I usually have about 80 processes running on my T41 and run at less than 2 percent CPU 95 percent of the time or more. So what, then, is saved by killing processes? Nothing on my machine.

Perhaps the T60 is different.
... JD Hurst
The jury is still out for me in terms of whether these things are useful or not - hence, I'm not uninstalling them (which would have been a lot easier than creating this script!). This whole effort started for me this weekend while running a program and noticing that the hard drive was being accessed excessively; I noticed that more than 1 Gig of memory was in use, and thus, I was paging. So I wanted to find out why, with only one 'desired' program running, I was paging so much - and hence, this script evolved.

I have not yet measured how much physical memory the sum total of all this stuff uses, but it's probably not trivial. Also - when you say they are using a sum total of 2% or less CPU, are you reading that in task manager? I have started to notice that task manager sometimes reports one thing in the 'CPU Utilization' column (per process), and something quite different at the bottom of the task manager window (where it shows 'processes', 'cpu utilization', etc). Right now, I'm not seeing a discrepancy, but earlier, there was (what I saw was, CPU Utilization at the bottom showing, say, 45%, while the individual columns were showing no more than 1, 2%).

Also, several of us in the office are experiencing weird instability issues after undocking, and I'm trying to track this down to errant processes. When you have 80 processes running, it's just harder to focus - 'finding a needle in a haystack' comes to mind.

I'm also getting an error every day indicating 'not enough space to perform backup' (something like that) - I think it's coming from the rescue and recovery feature. I have a 60 GB disk with 30 GB free ... I'm not sure what it's complaining about. Just how much time do I want to spend troubleshooting utilities that don't seem to be announcing themselves very well.

Some of this stuff seems to be simply 'bad' - why is there a process 'ipssvc.exe' running, the description of which is "Lenovo - virtual network client service produced by LanCom and offers a VPN Client service for their range of products."? Now, we use Fortigate VPN; who knows if this un-needed Lenovo service is contributing to problems, or interfering with the forticlient, or whatever ... it's just bad practice to have stuff running that has no purpose.

And why is there a dedicated process for power management:
"rem - ibmPmsvc.exe - Power management driver for IBM laptops. Provides support for the
rem - use of four keys on the thinkpad keyboard with blue key tops - Fn, F3, F4 & F12 -
rem - which have specific functions to control the standby and hibernate buttons. "
- is this a separate implementation of hibernate and standby, or just a way to launch the standard existing windows features, reached through 'start/shutdown...' - and why isn't this already supported by the three other processes running to control hot keys - tphkmgr.exe, tponscr.exe, TpKmpSVC.exe? This just looks to me like an ugly mess of stuff thrown together in an ad-hoc manner by people who did not communicate.

Update - My 'commit charge' memory usage after boot up and stabilization is about 420 GB (no 'apps', but all the thinkpad stuff, plus iTunes services, MSN messenger, yahoo messenger, etc). After running the script above, it drops to 330 GB (90 GB lower). killing off iTunes, MSN, Yahoo, and a few others drops it to 290 MB. So anyway, it looks like the sum total of thinkpad stuff is about 90 GB of memory.

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#4 Post by jdhurst » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:03 am

There is a setting in Task Manager that says "Hide when Minimized". I set it that way, and when minimized it sits in the system tray. I can see any usage by light green and little useage by all dark green. If I hover over it, it tells me total usage. FreeMem Pro tells me I usually have about 256Mb free at any one time out of 768Mb total memory. A virtual machine drags this down to about 100Mb or even less. My paging file is set at custom: 512Mb minimum and 768Mb maximum. It sits at 512Mb and never varies, so I suspect that excessive paging is not happening. I tried a very small paging file once, and that worked fine with no disk thrashing. So I think the 512Mb committed to daily use is enough for what I do.

Thanks for posting the information. ... JD Hurst

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#5 Post by Steerpike » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:33 pm

For grins this morning, when getting ready to leave home for work, I hit the 'Fn + F4' combo, which is the 'sleep' function. To my surprise, the computer went into standby ... this despite the fact that every known ibm-specific service and task was stopped/killed! Including: tphkmgr (hot key manager); tponscr (onscreen display); tpscrex (zoom); tpkmpsvc (keyboard mapping) and ibmpmsvc (power management driver).

So now I'm totally confused as to what all these processes do! Google here I come ...

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#6 Post by jdhurst » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:40 pm

I recall that there is a BIOS setting for suspend and that would likely have priority over the power management service. I cannot understand, however, why you would want to kill the power management service. I don't understand the fixation with gutting the mechanisms that makes any NT-based machine work. Most of these services cause no problems for me (or for any machine I service).

If you are trying to find the CPU intensive service (the needle in the haystack), sort on the CPU tab in Task Manager and see what happens. I see the very active tasks at the bottom. I see AntiVirus, Task Manager, Explorer, CommView and occasionally the PD Engine and Quick Books looking for updates, but nothing serious there. I just turned my TP light on - TPONSC runs for a split second and disappears. I turn the light off and TPONSC runs for another split second. The rest of the time it is not running at all - just sitting there. Yet if I killed it - no light.

I confess I don't know what is happening to your particular machine, but I know I had no problems with the services you are fussed with on my A22e, T23, T30 and now T41. I have no problems on any T42 or T43 I set up.

Please understand that I am not trying to be argumentative - just telling things the way I see it from my perspective, and also that it doesn't matter to me how you run your machine.
... JD Hurst

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#7 Post by dr_st » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:55 pm

I'd leave all the keyboard, APS and power management stuff. Other stuff (schedulers, auto updates, privacy, ATI) I think can be safely turned off (unless you're using them). DLA must be uninstalled.

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#8 Post by Terrahawk » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:57 pm

The ATI service does come in handy if you actually want PowerPlay to work. Without it, the graphics chip stays in full power mode.
Geoff.
T60P 2007-8JM / T60 1951-A35 / Z60M 2531-E9M / Tablet 1838-23M / Tablet 2 3679-27M
T410 2522-CTO / X301 2776-A17 / X201 3680-FAG / T420 4180-AQ3

Steerpike
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#9 Post by Steerpike » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:31 am

jdhurst wrote:... I cannot understand, however, why you would want to kill the power management service. I don't understand the fixation with gutting the mechanisms that makes any NT-based machine work. ...
I've never before taken a machine from a vendor and kept the installed software 'as is'; I've spent the past several years deploying Dells (and despite several poor models, the latest D600 latitudes were great) - hundreds in total. I have always installed the OS from scratch, then loaded any specific drivers from the vendor(s) as required (video drivers, etc) (actually, I would create an image, but you get the idea). I've now started a job where the incumbent vendor is Lenovo, and since - due to an ordering error I guess - I received no media with the Lenovos, I figured I'd live with the machines 'as is' for a while, until I get a feel for them. And I particularly appreciate the hard drive shock protection stuff.

But I'm shocked at the sheer volume of extra stuff. I agree the CPU utilization is probably negligible. Memory usage, at around 90Meg total, is not an issue for a 1 GB machine I suppose. But if you talk about stability, reliability, maintenance ... there has to be in my mind a compelling reason to keep these things because every single one of them is a potential source of bugs ... I've been a programmer and a support person in the past, and all software can be a source of problems. Even if everything is working today, I could load some arbitrary 3rd party product tomorrow that just so happens to negatively interract with one of these programs. A bios release next month could introduce (or reveal) a problem in one of these programs, requiring updates to be acquired and downloaded for them - not fun when you have laptops scattered all over the country, with users who may not have admin rights, etc etc. So - if it doesn't do anything of significant value, then my experience tells me to remove it.

So with that in mind, I can say that with a pure windows XP install on a dell laptop (with only specific drivers added, no special services or processes), I've never had issues going into hibernate and standby modes. So I have to question what the services/processes I list above are doing on the thinkpad, given that windows seems to have everything it needs built right in. Did Lenovo decide that Windows' implementation was not good, not suitable for the thinkpad hardware, and thus they created their own? Note that all the above tasks are provided by lenovo/ibm and are not found on a standard windows install. Having stopped/killed all the above, I can still happily do a 'start/shutdown/standby' or 'start/shutdown/hibernate' operation ... so this tells me these processes/services are pure 'fluff', dedicated to ... what ...? That's what I can't understand. I assumed they were there to support the 'thinkpad only' keyboard buttons, but apparently not.

I don't find this argumentative, I find this interesting ... there are interesting issues of reliability, maintainability, supportability, trading off against 'user convenience' features etc.

=========
PS - I found another ibm-specific task running - cssauth.exe. I had assumed it was core windows, but it's not. So I'm adding that to the list :)

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#10 Post by ashleys » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:33 am

PS - I found another ibm-specific task running - cssauth.exe. I had assumed it was core windows, but it's not. So I'm adding that to the list


CSSAUTH is Client Security Solution. It used to packaged as part of Rescue and Recovery but has now been split out and can be downloaded and installed separately.

Whilst all these idle tasks cause no problem with either CPU or memory (don't forget, Windows Memory Manager will trim and ultimately swap out idle tasks when required), there is an argument about product interaction and stability.

Unfortunately it is still the case that many products don't work well with other products. This appears to be especially true in the Anti-Virus arena, where reports of problems with different products on the same machine are legion. Personally I think this is unacceptable. Products should be written and tested to at least tolerate the existence of other products. Furthermore, as Windows
appears to have no proper program check recovery mechanism, certain failures are catastrophic (BSOD).

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#11 Post by GomJabbar » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:14 am

You probably don't want my opinion, but I will give it anyway. I do not work in Corporate America, so I do not have their perspective of things. Many of the utilities provided by IBM/Lenovo are not absolutely necessary, but they do enhance the end user's experience. Also, some of these utilities are quite innocuous, and are not likely to cause conflicts with anything else. As an example, the On Screen Display gives a handy visual indicator of the display brightness setting and hardware volume controls. The Power Manager provides handy battery status information, offers a battery reconditioning/recalibrating option, allows the user to set power profiles for battery and AC operation more appropriate to their situation. The Hotkey Features driver allows the ThinkVantage button to bring up ThinkPad specific help (Access Help online User's Guide), turn the WiFi wireless radio on/off with a hotkey press, bring up the EasyEject utility and Presentation Manager. If I was the user of one of these ThinkPads, and found out it was crippled unnecessarily by a heavy-handed IT department, I would not be pleased. I am not saying you should leave everything from the factory install, but also do not take everything off that you do not see as "absolutely necessary".

The following utilities are some of the most powerful, but also tend to cause user's the most grief. Most of this grief comes when the software is upgraded, and the upgrade does not complete properly.

1) Client Security Solution
2) Rescue and Recovery
3) Fingerprint Reader
4) Access Connections
5) DLA (Drive Letter Access for packet-writing to CD's)
6) PC-Doctor for Windows
7) Power Manager
8) Away Manager
9) Norton Antivirus
10) System Update
11) Software Installer (to be phased out)

Press the ThinkVantage button and choose Learn to find out about the built-in extras of your ThinkPad. The following link may also be useful for informational purposes.

ThinkVantage Technologies downloads
DKB

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