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Windows 7: Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center can't be started

18 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center can't be started

Hi-

My Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center are unable to start in Windows 7 Home Premium. Here are the error messages I get:

1) When I go to Update your firewall settings and push the Use Recommended Settings button, it says: "Windows Firewall can't change some of your settings
Error code 0x80070424"

2) When I go to Action Center and click the "Turn on Now" button under Security, it says "The Windows Security Center Service can't be started"

3) When I go to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, I get the message: "There was an error opening the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap-in. Restart the windows Firewall service on the computer that you are managing. Error Code 0x6D9.

Here is what happened that may (or may not - not sure) have caused the problem:

*I installed the Adblock Lite Firefox plugin from the official Mozilla plugin site. Old popup ads stopped coming, but a new kind of ad may have appeared within a Firefox window & I may have clicked on it. As happens when any official program tries access, a User Account Control alert appeared for Adobe Flash Player, asking for permission to access my hard drive - every time I declined, it asked again.

After the 5th time, I checked the security certificate - it was verified, so I said yes. It unloaded the Adobe Flash Player installer & asked to install it on my PC - then Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center shut down, and I haven't been able to restart them since. Messages about malware found & blocked by my Comodo Internet Security Premium program (which has been on my computer for 9 months) began popping up - the program always worked in the background but I rarely saw messages from it before.

Every time I accessed the internet after this, the Adobe Flash Player installer started to download and again asked if I wanted to install it. I never did - it would re-download every 20 minutes. Using CC Cleaner's Remove Program function, I removed the Adblock Lite plugin, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and other Adobe products.

Here's what I've done so far to try to solve it:

*Called my manufacturer and they asked me to go to System Restore, but I couldn't, since no restore points were set. I found out neither they or my retailer's warranty covers software issues - the only other solution they offered was a Windows 7 Home Premium reinstall. (Beware Acer and Staples warranties).

*I ran SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition, which used to often locate malware, but hasn't in recent days.

*I ran Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - it caught 1-2 things, I rebooted & eliminated the issues, but still can't start Windows Firewall or Security Center.

*I downloaded the Kaspersky TDSSKiller program. It removed 4 items and when I restarted the computer & went online, the Adobe Flash Player installer was at least no longer downloading. Comodo (which includes Antivirus, Defense+ and a firewall) continued to work when I checked its status, but its activity alerts no longer popped up.

*Going to the Microsoft help site, I found this page with three possible fixes:

windows security center service can't be started in windows 7 - Microsoft Answers

1) Tried the first possible fix (Error message:), but Security Center and Windows Firewall do not appear under the Services list.

2) Under instructions at How to use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7 , I ran the System File Checker scan (sfc /scannow). It did find corrupt files and successfully repaired them, but when I rebooted, Windows Firewall and Security Center still weren't working. I ran System File Checker a 2nd time, and it found no errors.

3) Only one I did not do was the "Clean boot" to check the status (How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7), as this seemed too complicated & possibly inconclusive

*I then uninstalled Comodo Internet Security Premium (which has antivirus, firewall, defense+) to see if a conflict caused the problem, & rebooted - Windows Firewall and Security Center still weren't working. I reinstalled Comodo.

*I downloaded several Microsoft FixIt programs from their site and ran them all - none of them were able to solve the problem. They are:

MicrosoftFixit.WindowsFirewall.RNP.21266068210132453.9.1.Run
MicrosoftFixit.WinSecurity.RNP.23266070503149393.1.1.Run
MicrosoftFixit.malware.FISC.23266070503149393.5.1.Run
MicrosoftFixit.WinSecurity.FISC.23266070503149393.5.2.Run
MicrosoftFixit.WindowsFirewall.FISC.23266070503149393.5.3.Run
MicrosoftFixit.WindowsFirewall.MATSKB.Run

*I ran the Error Checking function for the C drive - found a couple things and said it would fix them when I rebooted, which I did. Still no Win.F/Win.SC.

*I ran the Kaspersky TDSSKiller program again and there were no problems found.

*I downloaded the Microsoft Safety Scanner at consumersecuritysupport.microsoft.com and ran it. It said it caught 5 problems, then said it removed these four (not sure what happened to #5):

Exploit:Java/CVE-2012-0507.BB
Exploit:Java/CVE-2012-0507.CG
Trojan:Win64/Sirefef
Trojan:Win64/Sirefef.AA

*After this, I had a very scary moment where I rebooted. Windows said it was reconfiguring my desktop, and the PC launched to an almost blank screen with some bare bones version of a Start menu on the right-hand side in basic graphics. (I didn't write down the entire error message). I selected Restart and thankfully it restarted normally - but again, Windows Firewall and Security Center still wouldn't restart.

I would like more solutions to fix the problem--and clear out any existing underlying problems causing it - without a reinstall, which would be a nightmare, or spending $99 for a one-time Microsoft customer support session (especially if they can't fix the problem & I'd have to reinstall anyway). A Geek Squad subscription would be around $280 for a year or two and it's just too much right now. Please let me know other things I can try to fix the problem. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Jul 2012   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hello compheadache Welcome to SevenForums,

I looked up the errors and found this:
Error Code 0x80070424 with Windows Firewall, Defender in Windows 7 - Microsoft Answers

Give that a shot and post up the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks much for the quick reply. I checked, and I don't have either C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM64 or a file called consrv.dll (C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/CONSRV.DLL), so unfortunately that's not the issue. Will keep an eye out for more suggestions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Jul 2012   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Did you download both registry files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I downloaded both registry files as you suggested (a bit reluctantly, since I didn't have the folder & file indicating that was the precise problem I needed to fix)

I started the base filtering engine service (which worked) and then tried to start the windows firewall service (which didn't work - said "Windows could not start the Windows Firewall on Local Computer")

I also downloaded the security center service (http://download.bleepingcomputer.com...s/7/wscsvc.reg) and windows defender (http://download.bleepingcomputer.com.../WinDefend.reg), then rebooted.

When I went to Action Center, Windows Security Center was no longer an option under Security - instead there were a list of options, and it would still not allow me to turn on my Windows Firewall when I tried. So I selected the Comodo Firewall, which is now on. I've uploaded a screen shot of what it says now as an attachment (see below).

I also went to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security & got the same message as before: "There was an error opening the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap-in. Restart the windows Firewall service on the computer that you are managing. Error Code 0x6D9."

My concern, despite what the new Security list says, is that the underlying problem preventing Windows Firewall from opening is still there, and the new fix seems to have erased Windows Security Center in place of a piecemeal list.

I'm ok with using Comodo, but my concern is that I don't know if this makes my computer less safe, or if it didn't fix the initial problem, possibly leaving a security hole or other issue down the road. Can anyone advise on this?


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hmm well that is kinda odd to me. Comodo is a 3rd-Party firewall system, and when a 3rd-party firewall system detects a problem it's to late. So i did more research(Sorry for all the research and such, I haven't seen a problem like this before) i found this:

Error 0x80070424 ocurs when you use Windows Update, Microsoft Update, or Windows Firewall

Go ahead and try running the Fix It program, and see how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

compheadache,

Although I can tell that much more needs to be done, I would like for you to start by following the procedure I give.

Do NOT under any circumstances deviate from the given procedure.

And yes, I read everything you had done which one of the main reasons for this procedure being necessary.

HOW TO USE WINDOWS DEFENDER OFFLINE ON A USB STICK
Windows Defender Offline
· is a free standalone, bootable malware and virus remover from Microsoft.
· performs an offline scan of an infected PC to remove viruses, rootkits and other advanced malware.

Download Windows Defender Offline (about 764 kB)

You will have the choice of downloading the 32bit version (x86) or the 64 bit version (x64).
The link will help you determine whether you are running a 32 bit version or 64 bit version of Windows

NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 32 bit version using a 64 bit version of Windows
NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 64 bit version using a 32bit version of Windows.

You run the 32 bit version on a 32 bit version of Windows.
You run the 64 bit version on a 64 bit version of Windows.

The 32 bit download file name is: mssstool32.exe
The 64 bit download file name is: mssstool64.exe

For the curious, this program was originally name Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper.


INSTALLATION:
You will need an Internet Connection.
Insert 512 mB (Microsoft’s 256 mB is no longer accurate) or larger USB stick into a usb port.
Run the downloaded program--mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe
NEXT button
Choose the option On a USB flash drive that is not password protected
NEXT button
NEXT button
.
The install program will format the usb stick using the NTFS format.
The install program will download about 210 mB.
The install program will name the USB stick WDO_Media32 or WDO_Media64
The WDO_Media32 usb stick will have used space of 255 mB (268,140,544 bytes)
The WDO_Media64 usb stick will have used space of 282 mB (296,165,376 bytes)
You can expect the number of mB to increase as more malware appears.

UPDATE Windows Defender Offline USB stick:
· reinsert the usb stick
· run the installation program, mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe, again.
· the update will download about 66 mB (mssstool32.exe) and 68 mB (mssstool64.exe).

Since the malware database is sometimes updated several times in a day, always update before running.

PERFORM AN OFFLINE SCAN
Bootup your computer from the USB stick
Windows Defender Offline will automatically perform a quick scan.
After the quick scan finishes, Choose Full Scan
Select all of your drives

The initial, full scan can easily take several hours, but
Remember, your computer is being very thoroughly checked for all types of malware.


RESULTS OF THE SCAN
The results will be in 4 log files on your computer's disk in:
\Windows\Microsoft Antimalware\Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Re: Error 0x80070424 ocurs when you use Windows Update, Microsoft Update, or Windows Firewall

--I ran it, said the Updates didn't need fixing. But that FixIt program and the other steps on that page don't seem to address Windows Firewall, and that's still not working.

Re: Download Windows Defender Offline

--I appreciate the advice, but before I take these steps, I just need to know why - I already have the Comodo program with a Defender+ aspect, already ran the downloadable Microsoft Safety Scanner (msert.exe) from Microsoft that took 2 hrs to run. How is Windows Defender Offline better than that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Have a nice day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

My sincere apologies, Karl - I've spent 2 days with Microsoft, Acer, Kaspersky & Staples giving me misleading advice, taking a gajillion steps that don't solve the problem and, faced with trying to dig up a long, lost zip drive after a torturous day, I expressed my skepticism to you. Clearly you've done this a lot - hope you'll forgive the question. I'm close to finding the zip now, will follow your advice & post to let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center can't be started





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