System tuning – know what you are removing

Removing Internet Explorer Cripples Their Server

Periodically, I go through the list of programs and packages that I have installed, and remove ones that are no longer needed.  This can help to improve performance.

One caveat, however, is to make sure that you know what you are removing.  A while back, there was a customer that wanted to increase their security, by preventing people from browsing the Internet.  So, they removed Internet Explorer on their Windows server.  The problem with that was that is that Internet Explorer is deeply integrated into Windows in general.  The end result, was that they could do very little directly on their server.  Not only that, but remote connections, such as running their client/server software, would freeze after a couple of minutes.

The lesson here is to make sure you know what you are removing, and the implications of doing the removal.  In general, Windows components, and packages that are part of the base Windows installation, should probably not be removed.  There are some of the Windows components that can safely be removed, and others that have wide ranging affects.  Removing Windows file and printer sharing, for example, does more than prevent you from sharing your own files.  It can prevent you from finding machines by name, and accessing other machines at all.  There are other Windows components and packages that may impact areas that are not obvious.  Thoroughly research any that you are thinking of removing, to determine what other areas may be depending on them.  Better still, is to consult a professional that has a knowledge of how the different parts of your system interact.

As for the customer that removed Internet Explorer, that was a bit of an exercise.  With our help, the got an Internet Explorer complete installation file downloaded to another computer.  Then, copied it to media the server could read, and hand carried it to the server to install.  I do not think that they will be removing Internet Explorer from any of their other computers.

There are other safe ways to disable user access to Internet Explorer for the normal user without disabling for the other uses it is intended at the internal system level.

Contact us to help you manage your servers ad desktops in this and other more critical circumstances.


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