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Windows Firewall, System Restore, Services, and desktop problems

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I made the all too common mistake of leaving my young kid in the computer room alone.  I come back and now I have several issues that I've tried to unsuccessfully fix.  I'll list what I can here but as I've been working on these things for 2 days, I'm bound to forget something.  I use Windows XP (plain, not with SP2, though I have SP2 through downloads).

1.  Windows Firewall does not start up as it used to.
     - Tried turning it on through the Control Panel - Windows Firewall.  Error Message:  "Windows Firewall settings cannot be displayed because the associated service not running.  Do you want to start the windows firewall/internet connection sharing (ICS) service?"   If i select Yes, I get "Windows cannot start the ICS service."
     - Same error occurs when I go through the Security Center.
     - Trying to start the service manually results in this error:  "Could not start the windows firewall connection sharing (ICS) service on Local Computer.  Error 1068: The dependency service or group failed to start."

2.  I use Avast! as my anti-virus program.  It used to boot up with the computer, but now it won't.  I've tried reinstalling but no good.  

3.  Can't get to a Services properties.  I can click properties button and do it by the right click menu but nothing happens.

4.  Can't copy and paste in IE and in explorer windows.

5.  Can't drag and drop icons on the desktop or in any explorer windows.  I can select them but can't move them around.

6.  No matter how what I open, it does not show up on the task bar.  task bar has the Clock, Quick Launch, and a whole bunch of blank space in between.  If I had 6 applications up and running I'd only know of one of them due to it being up.  Other than that, you have to alt-tab to see what's open.

7. System Restore does not work.  Just does not work.a  If you try to start the service manually, you get:  "Could not start the windows firewall connection sharing (ICS) service on Local Computer.  Error 1068: The dependency service or group failed to start."

8. No Sound.

I can get on the net, but i'm afraid to since i have no protection.  I can even still use filesharing with my other computer.
I've run several virus scans in safe mode and anti-spyware.  I've come up clean each time.  Used PCTools to clean up the registry, too.  Checked nic card to see if it was being recognized, it was.  Checked sound card for the same, it was recognized, too.  It appears all my "Devices are working properly".

I've used the Windows XP Repair option with the CD.  I've done the chkdsk /R 3 times, no luck.  I would love to be able to reinstall windows xp but I can't afford to lose my files.  Is there a way to do that?

I know I am forgetting to mention things that are not right or things I've tried but hopefully this can start a good discussion.

Thanks so much for the advice and remember,  
God wants you to help me.
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Question by:RichardRiga
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Expert Comment

by:mluther223
ID: 17939232
hmmmmm..... amazing how "creative" kids can be.  I sounds as if you have disables several of the services required for the programs to function properly.  I think I would try to boot into safe mode,  and then access the services screen and see what services have been disabled and re-enable them.  
    Hopefully this would get you on the road to recovery.  I had similar problems when my niece and nephew would "play" on my computer... I avoided future problems buy setting up user accounts on the computer, and giving them "limited User" status.  A little bit of a pain.... but it helps to avoid the bigger problems.
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by:mluther223
ID: 17939294
before you try the above...... try accessing services from the "run" line (ie. run services.msc),  possibly you can re-enable (restart) the services you need without going into safe mode
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 17939299
Sounds like that somehow some necessary Services have been turned off (perhaps on the Service tab in Microsoft Configuration.)  Go to Start -> Run -> type MSCONFIG and hit the Enter key.  On the Services tab, make sure there only check marks in the boxes next to all service entries...

You can get to the list of Services by this:  Start -> Run -> type SERVICES.MSC and hit the Enter key.  If you scroll down to the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service, double click on it, it will bring up a window on that service.  From there you can click on the Start button in the Service status field to start the service if it is stopped, and you can modify the Startup type to Automatic.  If you get a message about dependent services cannot be started, click on the Dependencies tab for that service and you will see what services must be running in order to have that service running.  For example, under Network Connections the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service must be running, and under Windows Management Instrumentation, that and the Event Log service must be running.
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17939422
Let the fun begin!

mluther223:  I've gone into services (both from the control panel and through run services.msc) and get there fine.  Even in safe mode.  The problem is that once i'm there, i get errors when trying to start up the services I need.  Another big problem is that I cannot get the properties of the services, either.

LeeTutor:  can't double click on the service to get to the properties either :(  Event Logs are running but I can't get RPC to run.  I get, "Could not start the remote procedure call (RPC) service on Local computer.  Error 5: Access is denied.

This happens with every service I try to get going manually, though some of them give me the dependency error.

I've also gone to msconfig and reenabled all services there.  They all remain checked but the majority just don't start.
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Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 17939539
Can you do a system restore to some point before child-with-computer time?
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Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 200 total points
ID: 17939595
Found one page (a pdf file) where your problem with RPC service and Access is denied says this:

http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:RvvW15zwwV0J:www.updatexp.com/support-files/cryptographic-service-error.pdf+Could+not+start+the+remote+procedure+call+(RPC)+service+on+Local+computer.+Error+5:+Access+is+denied&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2

You will need to use your XP CD to boot the computer into the Recovery Console, then type the command: Enable RPCSS Service_Auto_StartNow press the Enter key to submit the command. Now type: exit and press Enter to restart the computer.
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17939598
7. System Restore does not work.  Just does not work.  If you try to start the service manually, you get:  "Could not start the windows firewall connection sharing (ICS) service on Local Computer.  Error 1068: The dependency service or group failed to start."

Its frustrating because I wouldn't mind doing an install if i could drag/drop my files over to my other computer.  but drag/drop and cut/copy/paste don't work in an explorer window
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17939622
Ok Lee, i'm trying that right now.  thanks, will let you know.
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17939771
No go, lee.  thanks, though
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Expert Comment

by:mluther223
ID: 17939797
problem starting the services?..... it should tell you that "XYZ" service needs to be running for "QRS" service to be started..... just work backwards, or what I would do, is change the services from "manual" or "disabled" status to automatic, and reboot.  Turn on all of the services,  and then copy the files you want to protect,  then procede with yoiur reinstall.
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by:mluther223
ID: 17939822
right click on each service that is "manual" or "disabled"  and go to properties, on the general tab, you should see startup type,  just change each to automatic  
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17939856
can't do that.  no matter how you try to get to the properties of a service (doubleclicking the service, rightclicking for Properties, button on the menu bar), the service property dialog will not come up.  see how frustrating this is? lol arggggghh.
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Accepted Solution

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mluther223 earned 300 total points
ID: 17939881
that is strange.... you are logged in as an administrator right?  I'm starting to think that possibly your admin priviledges are screwed up.  One last suggestion,  goto your control panel and under users, add a new user with full admin rights,  reboot and login as that new user and try the above suggestions.... hopefully that will allow you to change the required settings.
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by:mluther223
ID: 17939939
and yes... it is frustrating.... been there a hundred times.  But eventually,  99% of the time it's something so obvious that everyone overlooks it, and the fix is simple.... the other 1% really sucks.... ie reformat reinstall.  I thinking you are in the 99% bracket..... This is one of the best user groups I have been associated with,  and it may take a few experts to troubleshoot the problem,  but (knock on wood) they have always been able to assist me.
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by:mluther223
ID: 17939953
I'll try to do some research and testing on your problem,  hopefully we'll get a workable solution to you as soon as possible
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by:mluther223
ID: 17940023
I may have stumbled across your solution already.  I believe your winsock needs to be reset

try this.... it's easy

Go to the command prompt and then type the command "Netsh winsock reset"

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by:mluther223
ID: 17940052
by any chance did the kid(s) try to install a p2p program like limewire?  or install any new programs (or tried to install)?
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 17940135
Isn't the Windows FW part of SP2?

If you haven't installed SP2 and all current critical patches, start with that - then the trouble-shooting can begin.


Vic
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Author Comment

by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940330
i've done the winsock reset a couple times yesterday to no effect, but good suggestion.

I was current with SP2 and all updates up till Sunday (when this stuff started happening), so i should be good there.

Nope, haven't installed any peer to peer programs.  In fact, I haven't installed anything with the exception of PCTools registry cleaner this morning
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940378
Weird, too.. i am in administrator and tried to use the User Accounts suggestion made by Luther... but it opens up to a blank page.  no accounts listed.  just a forward and back and home button.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 17940395
How about trying the NET START command for various services.  The syntax is given on this page:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/net_start.mspx?mfr=true
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940450
tried that, too, Lee.  under regular and admin logins.  I get "System error 5 has occurred.  Access is denied."

i guess my login accounts are messed up since i get permission problems + there are no accounts listed in the account lookup
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 17940471
If this is XP 'Home', there is only one 'Administrator' account and that can only be accessed through 'Safe Mode'.
Your user account may have some 'Admin' rights, but that is all.

All of the symptoms added up make me think of 'malware' interference.
You AV won't work, services are being mangled, etc.

What anti-spyware apps are you running?

If you're going to download and install some extra protection, you may have to do it on another computer and then carry the files over to the affected one on a CD or Thumb Drive.


I would load MS Defender (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx) PLUS at least one of the following.

SpyBot S&D searches your harddisk for so-called spy- or adbots;
http://security.kolla.de/
or
Adaware
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

Make sure that your Definition files are updated for all the security apps.

Re-boot into Safe Mode and do a complete system scan with all applications.

Systernals also has a 'rootkit revealer' program.
Give it a try: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/RootkitRevealer.html
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940539
initially i thought it was some sort of worm like (ms.blaster) or something since a lot of the symptoms are similar (no copy/paste.. dragging icons, etc), but I ran, multiple times in safe mode under admin, both the latest Adaware plus Avast! anti-virus.  I come up clean each time.  I'll look into ms defender and rootkit revealer.  thanks.
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Author Comment

by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940608
oh another problem... which is also in line with the worm/virus/malware theory... Can't do a Search.
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940647
"The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed.  This can occur if you are running Windows in safe mode (which i am not currently), or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed.  Contact your support personnel for assistance"

I'm beginning to think I need to just copy my work data onto a disk and start fresh.  Only thing is... I am not sure how to do that without drag and drop.  doing it from the command line would be such a drag.
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by:RichardRiga
ID: 17940701
i'm trying nero now.  i may just reinstall windows if i can back up my more important files
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 17940726
You could 'slave' your bad HDD off a good computer - or - buy a 'USB Enclosure' from the local Giant Computer Store (about US$25.00).
That way, you could access your data files directly and copy off what you need to the good computer.

If you have a USB (Thumb) drive, you could also use your DOS commands to copy entire sub-directories to USB.

From a Command Prompt, navigate to your DATA sub-folder and copy everything.
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Expert Comment

by:mluther223
ID: 17940731
to youngHV........ " If this is XP 'Home', there is only one 'Administrator' account and that can only be accessed through 'Safe Mode'. Your user account may have some 'Admin' rights, but that is all."   ?  well, I guess you are correct about only one account can be called administrator,  but you can set up different accounts with FULL administror rights.  If you took the time to read my comment,  I was suggesting a way getting around the problem if the admin rights were screwed up in standard mode not safe mode.   I love these experts that read 3 words per paragraph and say others are wrong.  YOU ARE WRONG!!!  

but to help out our guest ..... do you have the option to purchase a new hard drive?,   the simpliest solution would be to install the new hard drive and install Windows,  shut down, and add the current hard drive back to the system as a slave drive..... and copy the files over.
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 17940854
mluther223,
You might give some consideration to addressing your cranial-rectal inversion situation.

You might also give some consideration to learning the differences between XP Home and Pro before telling someone else they are wrong.

Of course, I might want to give some consideration to wasting brain cells responding to a self-appointed 'expert' who has managed to answer 29 whole questions here on E-E.
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Expert Comment

by:mluther223
ID: 17941369
big word "cranial-rectal inversion situation" for a freakin retard.  And yes I've only answered 29 questions in the past few months.... because I have a life, and two jobs..... grow up moron
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by:mluther223
ID: 17941382
and considering the person asking the question never specified XP home or XP pro...I guess I'm not the Psychic that you are (or should that be psycho)
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by:Geisrud
ID: 17941922
Enough of the flame war you two.  I (and I'm sure many others) use EE because it's a high class site with well informed/practiced group of experts.  If someone may have made a mistake, please get over it.  Perhaps offer a correct answer with a link to back it up (standard practice).  I'm certain RichardRiga just wants his issue fixed and does not have time to read bickering.
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by:younghv
ID: 17943047
Geisrud,
You are right.
My assumption was that most folks would know that my comment about XP Home was pure fact.

Here are 2 links that discuss the XP Home and the Administrator account.

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/admins.htm

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/win_xp_passwords.htm

"After you log on as an administrator to a computer that is not a member of a domain, when you double-click User Accounts in Control Panel to change the password for the built-in Administrator account, the Administrator account may not appear in the list of user accounts. Consequently, you cannot change its password.

This behavior can occur because the "<<< Administrator account logon option appears only in Safe mode >>>" if more than one account is created on the system. The Administrator account is available in Normal mode only if there are no other accounts on the system.  To work around this behavior:........"

Googling the expression "xp home administrator" returns about a zillion hits discussing this fact.



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