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:
*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):
*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.