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Does Windows reset the startup type of its internal services at will?

McKnife
McKnife asked
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Last Modified: 2018-06-02
If you decided like to disable a windows service for good and set its startup type to "disabled", would you expect it to stay that way?

I would.  I often did that and never did that service magically re-enable - no matter what OS, I did that on all windows OS' NT4 to Windows 10.
Exception: if you upgrade windows to a newer version using an in-place upgrade, the startup types of internal services are reset to defaults - that is documented and expected behavior.

Now what about your experience - Question: Does Windows reset the startup type of its internal services at will?
I am seeking hard evidence. If I had experienced such an unwanted change, I would have investigated it as in reproducing with auditing enabled for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Servicename

So if you did investigate, let me know what you found out.
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Chief AvocadoChief of Problem Avocado's

Commented:
I do not have hard evidence, but I do have blood, sweat and tears.    I've disabled the windows update service before and magically it re-enables itself after a while.   I would not trust any windows service to remain disabled.
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Commented:
Thanks, but I am only interested in people that investigated.
AlanConsultant
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Commented:
Same for me - I have seen services that were disabled get somehow re-enabled and in particular update services.

Alan.
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Commented:
Hi Alan. Same for you: I have seen people state that before, but so far, never have I seen anyone who investigated it.
But this question should be answered only by those who investigated it.
Chief AvocadoChief of Problem Avocado's

Commented:
Was only trying to be helpful - whatever - do your own research,
AlanConsultant
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Commented:
Probably karma ;-)

My suggestion is that you setup a suite of VMs (twenty or so would be good, but depends on your capabilities / capacities) and monitor over time controlling for updates.

Good luck!

Alan.
Tiborg GuaranaIT begins
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Commented:
I have used different options to defer updates on more then 30pcs. all were working. So re-enabling I dont believe, unless you did something that change it :)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you turn Updates OFF on NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, the setting sticks. Vista will not update any more, so I turned Updates OFF and they stay OFF.

Windows 10 is different. If you attempt to turn Updates OFF, they will turn back ON with a new Version (1709, 1803 coming) or a Repair Install.

You cannot turn Windows Updates OFF permanently (say for a year or more.  

Source:   MVP Global Summit March 2018 plus numerous readily-available news articles.
Tiborg GuaranaIT begins
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Commented:
Well you do turn them off and keep them away with WSUS(WSUS is a Windows Server role available in the Windows Server operating systems) for as long as you dont decide to let update all or single PC.

Before using WSUS we used option to defer which installs update sooner then later. And option to stop services in registry which was working well for the time we were using this. Now whole company is on WSUS.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You can have better control of updates with Long Term Servicing Branch and WSUS, true.

For very small companies, workgroups (no server) and individuals, Updates will turn back ON.
Jonny BTech (CEO)

Commented:
I have seen cases of this happening in my shop.  Especially in the higher versions of windows 10.   I have seen what John has stated.  Every method I have tried to disable updates in windows 10 will not work like it did in previous windows OS.   However, I haven't narrowed it down if it is just windows 10 home version that we can't disable or if it is across all versions of windows 10.   I will continue to investigate this McKnife and report back when I have more information.
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Commented:
No one is talking about updates or the update service in general.
But foremost, again, please only comment if you ever cared to investigate the reason why the startup type switched.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
We have investigated insofar as we have had several machines where we needed to ensure updates were happening.
Jonny BTech (CEO)

Commented:
I investigated that the case my clients machines are crashing and I am isolating the cause of this windows 10 services issues. If you don't find the case of an issue you probably didn't fix it.

Best to investigate yourself Mcknife, because it seems we  are not quite understanding what you are asking.     If you are asking will windows change services enable and disable services at will that answer is Yes.  As to the exact cause and reason.  Its still being investigated.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It turns out for us (client machines) that issues with Antivirus and a couple of others have disappeared with V1709 Build 16299.309 (roughly latest) and this is the most reliable Windows 10 since V1607.

I did pay attention in the Windows 10 presentations in Redmond and Microsoft is intent on (a) updating Windows 10 on a current basis and (b) fixing issues in Windows 10 that have caused some issues.
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This one is on us!
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Commented:
Not for points

Just re updater - I've three sandboxed VMs with Win 10 that are now 2 months into a trial
a) Service disabled
b) Update Setting set to metered
c) Updates hidden using Microsoft's own update hider tool

All reboot at 02:00 every day
None have updated Windows services settings so far.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
There does not appear to be an answer to the question as asked so it should be deleted.
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Questions that have no solution do not necessarily have to be deleted if the discussion has at least some value for the community, like being used as a reference in the future.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
If you want the information retained, make an article out of it. I did not see anything here that we have not discussed in other threads.
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Commented:
Agreed, no changes to service start up settings on three different audited machines after three months. No evidence.
Do we retain the thread to quote in future?
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Yes, we do, if it is closed this way, it is not deleted but will be archived.
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Commented:
2nd try to close this question.

As I could see, no one ever bothered to find technical evidence for service startup type changes. As I have seen no service ever reset itself unless windows was in-place upgraded in decades, I can only conclude that there is a reason why this is nowhere documented: it does not happen.

Anyone who contradicts, feel free, but supply reproducible steps.

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