I too can not turn on the Windows Firewall. The system
says it is controlled by the administrator "group policy"
Can not figure out how to change this. Have tried posted
fixes but nothing has worked. Any help?




Bill Sanderson

Can you try the remedies in this KB first:

(or is that the "posted fixes" you've already tried?)

If that fails, can you give the error message you are receiving more
Is your machine on a network with servers--perhaps in a domain?

Malcolm Wagstaff

the WINDOWS SECURITY CENTER became de-activated. Tried
ENABLE got "We're sorry, The Security Centre could not
turn Windows Firewall. Try turning on the Firewall
yourself". Tried that in the control Panel / Windows
Firewall and got " Windows Firewall Settings cannot be
displayed because the associated service is not running.
Do you want to start the Windows/Internet Sgaring (ACS)
service?" On clicking on YES I get " Windows cannot start
the Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ISC) service."
QUESTION:- How can I ACTIVATE the Firewall in Windows
Security Centre? If this can't be done is there another
Firewall you can recommend I install? System XP SP2 with
Norton AntiVirus.Kind regards. Malcolm
Dec 17, 2005
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Reset the Windows Firewall Policy settings to defaults

When you open the Windows Firewall applet (firewall.cpl) in Windows XP Service Pack 2, it may read as For your security, some settings are controlled by Group Policy at the top of the applet. If this happens to a stand-alone system, then you may use the instructions below to reset the firewall Policy settings to defaults.

Note that there are a plethora of Viruses which disable the Windows Firewall settings through Policy / registry settings, even in Windows XP Home Edition.

For Windows XP Home Edition

  1. Click Start, Run and type Regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to the following locations:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall


HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall

  1. Backup and then delete the WindowsFirewall key.
  2. Close Regedit.exe and restart Windows.
Backing up the selected branch of the registry by exporting (Reliable)

This method is preferred if you're making changes to a specific key/area of the registry. To backup a selected branch/key in the registry, try this:

  • Click Start, and then click Run.
  • In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK
  • Locate and then click the key that contains the value that you want to edit
  • On the File menu, click Export.
  • In the Save in box, select a location where you want to save the Registration Entries (.reg)
  • In the File name box, type a file name, and then click Save.
Now that you've created a Registry backup for that particular key. Save the REG file in a safer location in case you want to undo the registry changes made. You can restore the settings by just double-clicking the REG file. It automatically merges the contents to the Registry.

Found this fix for your problem, I had it also, it worked like a charm.

Dec 31, 2005
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Cannot operate windows firewall

For me the deletion of the registy key,

(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall)

did the trick.

After month's of head scratching, thanks for posting.


Aug 22, 2006
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I have the same firewall problems ( gosh ) except that when I attempt to run the cmd stuff to fix it , this other problem arises:the ntvdm cpu has encountered an illegal instruction.... there must be another way to fix this I guess , I've been having this problem for about 6 months or something And i just cant help it


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