Tip of the Day...

Contrary to popular belief, Windows running in Safe Mode (Safe Boot) can run many user programs quickly and efficiently.

To turn Safe Boot  ON, run MSCONFIG.EXE, select Boot and then Safe Boot and Network. Restart Windows.

To turn Safe Boot OFF, run MSCONFIG.EXE, select Boot and then clear the Safe Boot option. Restart Windows.

The following programs were tested on the author's Windows 11 machine running in Safe Mode with Networking:
  • Visual Studio
  • NAT32 Version 2
  • Wireshark
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Installer
  • Remote file access to local machines
  • Remote Desktop connections to local Windows 7 machines
  • The computer is a development machine and has no other software installed on it.

    The following programs and features were not available:

  • Printer Service
  • UPnP Service
  • Remote Desktop Service
  • The list of Services and Drivers that Windows starts in Safe Mode can be found in the following Registry Key:
    The following table lists a few relevant measurements made on the author's machine:
    Feature Safe Mode Normal Mode
    Boot Time (to Desktop) 25 sec 25 sec
    Windows Update Disabled Enabled
    Telemetry, Tracking, Advertising Disabled Enabled
    NAT32 Rebuild 40 sec 68 sec
    System Processes 49 135
    System Services 36 102
    Device Drivers (Installed *, Running **) 389 164 390 150

    * All Device Drivers are installed in Safe Mode, except the Malware Protection driver.
    ** A different combination of Device Drivers runs in each mode.

    The Safe Mode is thus well-suited for small embedded systems that are to run NAT32 24/7 without downtime caused by Windows updates and reboots. The number of Windows processes and services is greatly reduced and Telemetry, Tracking and Advertising are all non-functional. As a result, performance is outstanding.

    Such systems can also be configured to perform all Internet I/O via NAT32 simply by setting the Adapter Gateway and DNS Server values to the NAT32 Special IP Address shown in the NAT32 Interface Configuration dialog box.

    Update 27. June, 2022

    Interestingly, the NAT32 WebBrowser Control still works correctly, even though Internet Explorer is not installed and Microsot Edge has been uninstalled.