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Windows Firewall options are greyed out

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
A user recently traveled to Asia, and during his trip his laptop started behaving strangely with internet browsing issues and VPN issues.  When he returned, I verifed that his computer was having issues.  For example, the laptop could get onto the internet, but couldn't open any web pages.  I could ping sites all over the Internet but his IE browser would simply not display anything.  DNS was fine, but I noticed his Windows Firewall screen would not allow me to turn it off or on...the radio button options were greyed out and the firewall was set to "on".  There were also a few services that I didn't recognize, which I shut down as well.  His laptop has our Symantec Corporate AV installed on it, so I made sure the virus defs were up to date, and ran a full system scan in safe mode.  Sure enough, it found various spyware and trojans.  I ran two more safe mode scans and then a scan in normal windows and the third safe mode scan came back clean...as did the scan in normal windows.  After Symantec AV cleaned the trojans and sypware, his computer started to operate normally...at least with browsing the Internet.  However, he still has some strange servcies (which are disabled) and his windows firewall is STILL not changable...it's just stuck in the "on" position and I am not able to modify it.  I clicked the advanced tab and requested that the firewall be set back to default, but that still didn't make a difference.

Any thoughts?  Other than to wipe the hard disk and re-install? (which I am planning on doing here in the next day or two).

Thanks.
Jeff
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Question by:jbobst
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 17909836
symantec AV won't catch the majority of spyware out there... although the issues you are mentioning sound more like virus than spyware.

it's possible that the malware has damaged system files.  try sfc scannow or repair install.
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Expert Comment

by:rpggamergirl
ID: 17910858
These keys are probably created by the virus:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsFirewall\DomainProfile]
"EnableFirewall"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsFirewall\StandardProfile]
"EnableFirewall"=dword:00000000


values set to zero --> disables it and it greys out the buttons so it can not be changed
values set to 1      --> enables it and greys out the buttons so that it can not be changed
The value has to be removed so that the firewall is not set either way and he has control over it.



OR:
Also check here:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/resetfwpol.htm
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Accepted Solution

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rpggamergirl earned 50 total points
ID: 17910865
A hijackthis log would have been a good idea and can tell us good info about the virus expecially the bad service, but if you disabled those services they won't show up in the log.

Please download HijackThis 1.99.1
http://www.cyberanswers.org/forum/uploads/HijackThis1991.exe
http://danborg.org/spy/hjt/alternativ.exe
Open Hijackthis, click "Do a system scan and save a logfile" don't fix anything yet.

Then upload the logs to any hosting sites,
or go to the below link and login using your Experts-Exchange username and password.
http://www.ee-stuff.com
Click on "Expert Area" tab
type or paste the link to your Question
"Browse" your pc to the location of your Hijackthis log and click "Upload"
Copy the resulting "url" and post it back here.

OR: paste the log to either of these sites:
1. http://www.rafb.net/paste/
then at the bottom left corner click "paste"
Copy the address/url and post it here.

2. or at --> http://www.hijackthis.de/ 
and click "Analyse", click "Save".  Then post the link to the saved list here.
0
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:orangutang
orangutang earned 75 total points
ID: 17911966
Well, when you get our problem fixed, I suggest you disable the Windows firewall and download and install the free version of ZoneAlarm(http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp) instead.
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 17942252
Try resetting the firewall also....

netsh firewall reset


Then see if you can disable it...

Are the FW options greyed out , or just not accepting changes...??
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Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 17942274
NM the last part, just saw the question again.....(is it time to go home yet?????)
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 17957968
Sorry I never did a highjack this log.  I ended up just re-installing windows, as that is quickest solution.  Thanks for the help.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:orangutang
orangutang earned 75 total points
ID: 17958386
Make sure you install ZoneAlarm free and Disable the Windows Firewall.
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