Windows Firewall Settings not working

Hello there,
 I am using Windows XP Professional, recently I've scanned my computer and found many different types of viruses, I used McAfee and got rid of 'em for some odd reason when  I hit the ctr+alt+delete to get to the windows task manager, I saw under the processes that internet explorer was still there (iexplore.exe) and couldn't end it, so I located the file and had to change the setting before I could delete it, anyway, I checked on the firewall and it was disabled and went to enable it but a message saying "Due to an unidentified problem, Windows cannot display windows firewall settings, DOes anyone  know how I'd be able to get to the settings and be able to enable it again? Also Is there a way someone could hack into a wireless router? I'm just curious, My wireless router used to have a name which i had set up and included a password but now it only shows as "Linksys" and it's not password protected, not sure how that happened, please help me
Who is Participating?

Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up

MshineConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1. Antivirus Doesn;t catch anything now.

Suggestion: Disable McAfee and get rid of it if your sick of paying for protection! Download
AVG from Grisoft. Get AVG Free Edition and you will also be able to get FREE updates.
This free version of the program DOES have Scheduling and Automatic Updates Enabled
for the free version! I have been using their product for over 5 years and NEVER have
hardly any problems whatsoever!

I also use Adaware & Spybot Search and destroy. With those three applications I have
very little troubles at all!

2. Windows won't let me do the restore point.

Question: What exactly does that mean? Are you able to get to the system restore screen?
Are you able to start up system restore, but there are no dates available to select? Not sure?

Suggestion: Right click My Computer and select Properties. Click the System Restore tab.. Look
at the window and see is System Restore is even ACTIVE on your System Drive ( typically C: ).

If system restore is NOT active, then turn it on. Then run the 3 above applications to completion!
Once you have run them and gotten rid of any nasties, you can CREATE another system restore

IMPORTANT NOTE **** If system restore is NOT active currently, and you DO have nasties on
your PC, those virus/trojans/worms etc.. will most likely be stored in the system restore point
you create, but still create it for now, because at least your machine is bootable!!! Once you have
cleaned the system and used it for a few days and you are sure it is functioning correctly, go back
to the System Restore TAB in My COmputer Porperties and TURN OFF system restore ( click apply ).
This will delete ALL restore points ( along with the nasties ). Once windows is finished turning it
off, go ahead and reactivate System Restore AGAIN, and then create a CLEAN restore point.
Now you will be in good shape.

4. And last.. Can my Wireless Router be hacked into?

Yes, and very easily IF you have DHCP active!!!! The most fundimental rule in setting up a
wireless router is that if you truely want it to be secure, you need to setup STATIC IP
addresses for all the computers that will be using that router. If you have DHCP active
on your wireless router, I can drive right up your street and have access to your network
and the computers that are connected to it.

It would be worth restoring your computer back to a earlier restore point to restore the firewall settings... those virus's have obviously had their way with windows and messed a few things up.

As for the router, it is possible that it could of been hacked... but it looks more like a factory reset has occured, as a hacker wouldn't go to the trouble of resetting everything. Are you sure you havn't reset it yourself and forgot to set the password up? i know ive done it enough times...?
maykelcAuthor Commented:
Windows won't let me do the restore point process, I've tried it already. The Antivirus now doesn't catch anything but I am sure there's still something in it, I never touched my router or the settings, so I guess I'm gonna have to try to do it again, right now the only thing I could think of is reset windows do a whole restore on the computer it's just a pain in the butt but if anyone has any idea of how this could be done differently or something please let me know, thank you so much for your help
Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Are there any errrors in the event log? You can try resetting the firewall back to the original state...

netsh firewall reset

Might want to consider repairing IE...This is a stand alone utility that uses the ie.inf method to repair...

IEFix Utility - Description

As for why IExplore.exe is still running after you close the windows, that sounds like remnants of the infections or spyware...

Here are a few of my favorite tools
SpyBot Search and Destroy - (Also has an Immunization feature)
Lavasoft AdAware SE Personal - (Under Options>Scanning>Make sure Scan inside Archives is selected to get all files)
SpywareBlaster - This doesn't scan for bad products, it helps prevent them from being installed.
Microsoft Defender - Good real-time scanner and solution to protect
Prevx - Don't use it much, but it has a free trial you can use to scan if other ones don't catch the Nasty stuff (Also Offers online Spyware scan). Has good detections
Spy Sweeper - One of the top 'Paid For' products, but I would personally not want to pay for something I can do for free with other tools (Also Offers online Spyware scan)
Hijack This! - (This should NOT be used by people that are not familiar with internals of Windows. You can scan and post a log at for automated analysis, or email the log to me first, and can advise you what to remove)
Online Virus Scanning
Trend Micro's Housecall (One of the best out there for Trojans and Viruses, plus it should let you remove them as well-some free scanners don't remove unless you buy)
McAfee Free Scanner
Symantec Online Spyware and Virus Scan - Doesn't remove the files, but can confirm a detection and give you the filename to delete.

Just to add to the router, I would agree with the first post about it being reset to factory defaults...It happens all the time to those SOH routers...And to add to MShine's suggestion about the security, it shoud be considered MANDATORY IMO that MAC Filtering be used, along with disabling DHCP, and dont broadcast the SSID.

Its also best to use the highest level of encryption available for your router and nodes, as WEP has become an easy target for cracking encrypted keys....
maykelcAuthor Commented:
THANK YOU SOO MUCHH for all your help, I couldn't access my firewall settings and things seem to be getting worse so I think at this point I will just need to do a restore and reinstall everything :)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.