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Plug and Play (System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems)

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Service Name: PlugPlay

Executable Name: services.exe

Log On As: LocalSystem

Description: The Plug and Play service enables a computer to recognize and adapt to hardware changes with little or no user input. Plug and Play enables you to add or remove devices without any intricate knowledge of computer hardware, and without being forced to manually configure hardware or the operating system. For example, you can plug in a USB keyboard, and Plug and Play will detect the new device, attempt to find a driver for it, and install it. Or you can dock a portable computer and use the docking station’s Ethernet card to connect to the network without changing the configuration. Later, you can undock the same computer and use a modem to connect to the network without making any manual configuration changes.

This service cannot be stopped or disabled through the Services snap-in because of the impact on operating system stability. If this service is stopped using the System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) troubleshooting tool, the Device Manager interface appears empty and no hardware devices are displayed.

Available on: Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition and Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

Installed through: Default operating system installation

Startup type: Automatic

Service status: Started

This service depends on the following system components: None

The following system components depend on this service:


Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

Logical Disk Manager

Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service


Remote Access Auto Connection Manager

Remote Access Connection Manager

Smart Card


Virtual Disk Service

Windows Audio

Windows Image Acquisition

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