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Friday, February 6, 2009

Can't Turn on Firewall - Windows

A lot of the posts coming up are about my repairing my computer following intermittent connectivity issues. I still insist the original issues were with the signal itself and the resulting issues were due to my having to End Task and Reboot so often while attempting to reestablish it, but nevertheless, I am able to get back online now.

Let me back up: While I installed MS Office 2003 days before this all took place, and the last updates occurred several days before as well, uninstalling MS Office 2003 made a world of difference. In fact, if I can get everything else working correctly, I'm going back to my original configuration -- which, although the company strongly suggests not to do it, worked great for eight months before this.

Anyway, I got a copy of ZoneAlarm Pro and I've had nothing but troubles with it. While I know it's a solid firewall providing me excellent protection, it doesn't matter how many times I check the little dialogue boxes, it always asks me to confirm every, little action. I'm pretty sure there's a setting somewhere in the morass what is ZoneAlarm Pro that would settle this, I don't have time for all that. So I decided to switch back to Windows Firewall.

If only it were that easy!

It kept telling me it couldn't start. I found my way to the Windows Firewall control panel, which told me Firewall was not using the recommended settings. But when I pressed that, it gave me another error. That was when I remembered Services! But, just to be sure, I did a quick search. Sure enough, forums were filled with users complaining of the same issue but there were no direct solutions (though a few did offhandedly mention the service must not be started).

If you come across this issue, follow these steps:

  • All Programs -> Accessories -> Administrative Tools -> Services
  • Windows Firewall
  • Change it to either Automatic or Manual
  • Start the service (upper left column)
If you were using another firewall program, you should be sure to disable it before enabling Windows Firewall; two firewalls running concurrently can cause problems. If it is set to automatically load when Windows starts, there is usually a setting within the program itself which will stop it from doing so. However, you can always use msconfig (just type"msconfig" in the Run box from your Start Menu) to disable anything that loads on Startup. The excellent CCleaner also has a feature for controlling Startup programs and functions.

Services are an entire post unto themselves and will be covered in the future.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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