worldjim
2 Bronze

What does Desktop System Software do?

OK, what exactly does Desktop System Software (DSS) do?

Dell calls it "A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system". Doesn't Windows Update do that? Also, the description says "vital", yet the "Criticality" is listed as "optional" (at least for r121089).

Dell says it "automatically detects your computer and operating system and installs the updates appropriate for your configuration". If so, then why is it followed by a long list of drivers you have to load manually?

Sorry if I'm skeptical, but I just had to do a clean install of XP because my system was bogging down, and I want as little junk on my computer as possible. I did load DSS before the install, and it promptly installed and disappeared, never to be seen again. It’s not on the Program list, so how do I run it? It’s not on the Uninstall Software list, so how do I uninstall it? Is it doing something in the background beyond my control? If so, what? Or can I control it? If so, how do I run it?

In short, what does DSS do?

(Dimension E510, XP, 1GB RAM)

0 Kudos
14 Replies
PETER345
5 Osmium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

I never use it on any of my Dells. I think it is just a utility to warn you when there are updates from Dell. I don't believe it does anything with Microsoft updates. However, I don't use it and I might be wrong. I am certain that it is not needed! I check for Dell driver updates manually.

Peter
0 Kudos
Bay Wolf
5 Rhenium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

What Peter35 said is incorrect.  It is not a utility to warn your when there are updates from Dell - though Dell does have a software program to do this.
 
To the OP, DSS or NSS is a program is a program for the very paranoid.  Dell is tracking all of your steps around the internet and logging all of that information and sending it to the police.  Smiley Very Happy  JUST KIDDING.  It's getting late and I needed a laugh.
 
The DSS (desktop) or NSS (notebook) is vital in most cases.  It does exactly what it says.  It provides critical updates and patches for the operating system.  This is different from the drivers that you see below the DSS. 
 
The reason that you do not see it in the Add/Remove program list is that it can not be uninstalled.  It is there to cover any specialized things that Dell may have tweaked with their computers.  It is running in the background as part of the OS, not as a seperate entity.  When you download some security updates for your OS and install them, you don't see them in the task window either.  They, just like the DSS, is part of the OS.  Even some of the security updates can not be uninstalled.
 
I suggest that you go ahead and install it.  It is not going to bog your system down.
 

 

Forum Member since 2000

Please share your experience with the forum.

0 Kudos
worldjim
2 Bronze

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

Thank you for the reply, but I still don't fully understand. I already have a utility that provides "critical updates and patches to the OS" - Windows Update. What is DSS fixing - critical Windows security or Internet Explorer patches? Drivers are one thing, but I'm not sure I like the idea of Dell messing with the OS itself. You said DSS will "warn us" when there are updates from Dell. Can I expect little popup boxes that ask me to download something? Has anyone ever gotten a message from DSS? I have Windows Update set to "Notify", so at least I can see what it wants to do before it does it.

I'm asking because I just had a bad experience with background processes (see below), leading me to reinstall XP. Can anyone tell me what background processes DSS launches? I want to figure out what I did wrong so I don't load the offending software again.

Last week I decided to do some upgrading, and afterwards my computer seemed taxed. Even dragging a window across the screen was choppy. Here is what I did:

1) Download & install DSS.

2) Download & install Dell Support.

3) Run Dell Support, and download & install a few of its recommendations, including Java and Flash.

That's when everything bogged down. I checked the process list, and there were two processes (agent.exe & isuspm.exe) constantly running and gobbling up 50% of the CPU time. I hit the forums, and they were either tied to a "Dell Utility" or InstallShield (which I think I got from loading Roxio RecordNow). However, I had RecordNow on the computer for several months with no problem.

I uninstalled RecordNow and Dell support, with little effect. I tried to find and uninstall DSS, but that just dissappeard into the computer. Then I uninstalled Java, and the computer seemed much better, but agent & isuspm were still there and using 50% of the CPU.  Note: I also have a 6 month old Dell 9200 w/ XP which came with Roxio Creator LE, has Dell Support and InstallSheild (Program Updates) in the Control Panel, yet does NOT have agent & isuspm running. So, where did they come from on my E510? ...And is there any way to find out if DSS is on my 9200?

So, any insight on what I did wrong, what bogged my computer down, and/or what agent.exe & isuspm.exe are?

(BTW, why is it so important that DSS be loaded before all the drivers if it has nothing to do with them?)

0 Kudos
mombodog
6 Thallium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

Dell recommends DSS or NSS to be installed first, so subsequent drivers will install properly.
 
I have never used DSS on any of my Dimensions when I clean install, but may be critical on other models such as XPS, Precision, Optiplex, but NSS is critical on most laptops.
 
Performance issues,
 
Remove #2


Message Edited by mombodog on 12-30-2007 09:42 AM
0 Kudos
PETER345
5 Osmium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

I just checked out what DSS does. As noted, I was wrong about it. What it did was install several Microsoft hot fixes for a variety of issues. For example, issues related to dual core and standby problems or USB storage device writes failing.

These hot fixes may not be part of the normal Microsoft updates, but probably get rolled into the next SP.

Although I have never installed this (or NSS) on any Dell I have owned, it does appear to make be useful to install.

Peter
0 Kudos
mombodog
6 Thallium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

Peter, one would suppose each are a little different depending on what model of PC DSS/NSS is installed on. , good info, thanks. I think I will start using it in the future on Dell Xp installs.
 
Dells decription is a little generic.
0 Kudos
PETER345
5 Osmium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

Yes, they are a little different. I think they also check to see what processor, etc you have installed to see which are appropriate for the machine/setup you have.

I agree that Dell's description is lacking.

Peter
0 Kudos
worldjim
2 Bronze

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

Wow, much obliged for all the help. You convinced me to load it. So, I downloaded it, double clicked on it, and got a dialog box that said this:

----------------------

System Utilities: Dell Desktop System Software Utility Version: A06

For:

DXC061, DM061, DXG061, DXG051;

Dimension - 4700C, 3000, 5100C, DC051, DXP051, DXC051, DM051, DE051, DXP061,

Dimension - DV051;

Optiplex - 320, 745, GX620, GX520, 170L, SX280, 170L, GX280;

Precision - 670, 470, 380, 390, 690, 490;

----------------------

Um, one last question: Am I loading the right DSS for my Dimension E510? I don't see E510 or 5150 on that list. Actually, I don't even remember most of those Dimension model numbers. I am a very literal person, and I panic when technical instructions aren't precise.
0 Kudos
mombodog
6 Thallium

Re: What does Desktop System Software do?

DM051 is a E510 or 5150
0 Kudos