Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Smartcard service relation to fingerprint reader?

  1. #1

    Smartcard service relation to fingerprint reader?

    I've noticed that SmartCard service is running at my Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit system. I don't use smart cards and don't need it. I've also read Black Viper's Windows 8.1 Services guidance and noted that this service was presented there as disabled in every configuration.

    Somehow, on my machine it has been automatically enabled. My machine (Dell Precision M4800) has a fingerprint reader - can it be related to this service? I'd rather expect it to be related to Windows Biometric Services yet this one has always been disabled on my machine...

    Is it safe for me to disable SmartCard service or can anyone come up with a solution what other function / application may need it?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    If you don't know what a smartcard is for then you don't need it. It is only required if the IT department give you one.

    My job is writing software for banks and I can count on less than one finger the number of bank IT departments that require a smartcard. It just is not used. Elsewhere perhaps but certainly not in the banking sector where you'll simply not be allowed on their network at all.

    Fingerprints are a separate thing entirely and I use one to log on to my PC as a matter of course.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    I know what it is but I don't use it at home (though have to use it at work).

    I'm just surprised that that type of service was somehow set to run automatically on my workstation, so I'm looking for a possible explanation.

    Since both devices - fingerprint reader and smartcard reader read some external data, I was wondering whether they may have to do with each other. Well, the truth is, that thinking like this I could also suspect disk.sys to be associated with fingerprint reader
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    You bought a workstation style laptop though (and so did I actually).

    I know that the fingerprint data is saved in a file (in my case xxxx.vts) and you can back it up if you want. It is not external data - it is stored on your computer. When you use the reader it compares the scan of your finger to what it has saved.

    The smartcard is different as you need the physical object (with its chip in) to sanction the logon. It is definitely external and not the same at all. You can pick it up and put it in your wallet.

    I've also an express card slot - no idea what that is for really ....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Indeed, my machine is the mobile workstation (yet we can discuss its mobility ) and has many professional functionalities and interfaces.

    Thank you for clarifying that - now I'm certain that smart card-related services run on my machine without purpose.

    I will set those services (there are two: SmartCard Service and Certificate Propagation Service) to manual start and observe whether there are any system anomalies. IF not, I will simply disable them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    I think I would do that. But...

    Most services don't do anything anyway. They just sit there using no resources - you can get over paranoid about reducing stuff (like black spider/widow or whatever) and in my experience it makes no difference. The OS will page out stuff that isn't interesting or being used. I like to micro-manage but do I need to? No.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Smartcard service relation to fingerprint reader?

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