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Fixing Windows Firewall Problems

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 1/29/2011

Windows Firewall is like any other software that can have access or connection issues. To solve any firewall related problem, use the diagnostic or troubleshooting guide in this article.

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    Problems in Using Windows Firewall

    You may have seen problems in using the built-in firewall in Windows operating systems that you want to fix instead of disabling Windows firewall and then using an alternative software firewall.

    Windows firewall problems are common issues because it can be modified and disabled by other programs that have administrative permission to change system settings. In some cases, an update to the system will affect system settings. Below are some of the common Windows firewall issues with possible solutions.

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    Blocked Internet Connection Using a Program

    One of the common problems in using firewall software is the inability to use the Internet connection for a particular program. The possible solution is to add a firewall exception for the program or determine the port number used by the application and then use Windows firewall to open it.

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    Windows Firewall Options is Greyed-out or Disabled

    Another problem that you might see is when you cannot turn on Windows firewall or if it has disabled by another application or malware. Simply reset or repair Windows firewall, or try using the methods in enabling Windows firewall in this article.

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    No One Can Ping or Access Your Computer When Firewall is Enabled

    Creating Firewall Rules in Windows If you or another person and computer cannot ping your computer while Windows firewall is enabled, simply create a firewall rule for ICMP Echo request – ICMPv4 and ICMPv6:

    • Open Windows Firewall by typing wf.msc in the run box.
    • Click Inbound rules > New Rule.
    • Click Custom > All Programs > Protocol Type, and then select ICMPv4.
    • Click Customize for Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) settings.
    • Click Specific ICMP types, click Echo Request, click OK, and then click Next.
    • In the Which local IP address does this rule match?, select Any IP Address.
    • Click Allow the connection, and click Next.
    • In the When does this rule apply?, click all the profiles (domain, private and public profiles).

    Repeat the above steps for ICMPv6 for Protocol type instead of ICMPv4.

    No One Can Access Your Files and Folders When Firewall is Enabled - If you or another computer cannot access files and folders, verify that File and Sharing is enabled.

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    Troubleshooting Windows Firewall Problems

    If none of the above solutions will help in fixing the problems with Windows firewall. You need to start troubleshooting:

    Open the Event Viewer in Windows by typing eventvwr in the run box. You can also access Event Viewer by navigating to Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools. Other method in opening Event Viewer is to type the keyword Event Viewer in Vista or Windows 7 or XP that have Desktop Search application installed. Note that users of Windows 7 and Vista that have User Account Control enabled will be prompted to confirm the action in opening Event Viewer console.

    In the Event Viewer window, click Windows Logs, and then click Security.

    In the right pane, look for event log entry that have information that firewall has been stopped, failed to start, or failed to initialize the driver. An example event log has the following event ID and text:

    • 5025 – The Windows Firewall Service has been stopped.
    • 5029 – The Windows Firewall Service failed to initialize the driver. The service will continue to enforce the current policy. Error Code: %1.
    • 5030 – The Windows Firewall Service failed to start. Error Code: %1.

    The possible solution for the above event log is to restart the service of Windows firewall. Use the services console in Windows to restart Windows firewall service, or use the command line net start mpssvc to restart the firewall service.

    To restart Windows firewall service using the services console: Type services.msc in the run box, and then locate Windows firewall in the list of services. Right-click Windows Firewall and select “Start."

    To restart Windows firewall service using command line: type cmd.exe in the run box, next right-click cmd.exe in the list of search results, and then click “Run as administrator." In the command prompt window, type net start mpssvc, and then click enter key on the keyboard.