November 22nd, 2007, 05:24 AM
Problem with Vista Firewall and Sidebar
This one has me baffled. Before I do a reinstall I thought I'd get some opinions/advice.
Recently my windows sidebar gadgets stopped working. The sidebar is running, but none of the gadgets will work or load properly. Most will load but not connect to the desired destination.
On further investigation I realized I cannot open my firewall either. My computer states it's on and functioning, and I can view the policy manager, but cannot access the allow/block list at all.
So, this stinks of a virus right?
I am currently running scans to no avail (avast, clamwin, etc). My system is coming up clean, although I can't run online scans for some reason (error with java?). Adaware found a malware or two, but nothing that seemed too critical.
Prior to figuring out the firewall doesn't work, I tried to repair vista via the repair console to no avail. System restore doesn't work as I don't have any restore points (strange as I never turned it off). I've tried several different suggestions via forums but am pretty much stuck.
The only thing I can think of is it has to do with uninstalling a program (Alcohol 120, ultraiso, or something), but other than that I can't figure out the issue. My computer is running great otherwise. Should I be concerned? What recommendations do you have?
To add to the problem, I upgraded to vista. So, I'm not sure how I'm going to reinstall if I have to. I read I can reinstall as a trial, and then upgrade over that?
November 22nd, 2007, 05:59 AM
Sounds like a bug in the firewall, but not necessarily a virus(but it could be). It would explain the gadgets not working (especially if they need net access and the FW is blocking them) There were a lot of issues with upgrading to vista, which is why I always recommend doing a clean install. If it were me, i would wipe the machine and do a clean vista install (not an upgrade unless you have to).
If you have to do the upgrade, you need to do it from a fully activated version of windows so a trial wont work.
November 22nd, 2007, 11:29 AM
I would probably go for a clean install myself. I think that you have done all you can to recover it by less dramatic methods. Even if you got it to work, I doubt if it would be stable?
1. Wipe disk.......... use the HDD manufacturer's toolset if possible and overwrite the disk. Look out for disk error messages!
2. Load Win XP or 2000
3. Upgrade to Vista
4. Make sure the firewall is up and running
5. Update Vista
Try looking at the MS site for the Vista upgrades. Look at the network administrators tools to get downloads that you can then automatically apply offline "deployment across a network" or whatever they call it?
November 22nd, 2007, 03:41 PM
Are you sure your account has administrative privileges?
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
November 22nd, 2007, 04:03 PM
That is a very good thought SirDice,
I forgot that even administrator privilege accounts mostly run with reduced rights in Vista until you specifically grant them I believe?.
I still think that he has other problems as he talks as if he used to be able to do these things............ perhaps his account/profile has become corrupted?
It might be an idea to create a new account with the required privileges and see if that works before going through the grief of a reinstall?
November 22nd, 2007, 10:59 PM
All good thoughts, when LateNightLurker said it just recently started acting up I too thought that the user account could be corrupted. You don't need to create a new account to see if you have administrator privileges, go to your security center through the control panel and click turn on or off firewall. Now if you don't have admin privileges it will tell you that, and if you have an account on the system with admin privileges it will ask you to switch users.
either way, if that doesn't fix it then create a new account give it administrator privileges and change your original account to standard. Go in and see if you have access to your firewall then, it is most likely some form of malware.
if this is the case check your web browser and make sure java isn't disabled and try using trend micro's housecall, the last time I used it there was an option for a java based kernel and some other option which didn't involve java. Maybe use a free virus suite like AVG.
if all fails then a re-install is inevitable, wake up call to always backup and create restore points. Think about what you were doing (computer wise) before/during this problem occurred and try to reverse it...
November 23rd, 2007, 01:42 AM
Had this happen to me as well. Uninstalling and reinstalling my firewall (ZoneAlarm) fixed the problem.
The problem started immediately after the recent security patch was released.
"entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"
"entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity."
November 23rd, 2007, 02:04 AM
good point, if you can get access to your windows firewall; disable it and download a free firewall like ZoneAlarm to see if that is your problem also!
November 23rd, 2007, 04:01 AM
I was logged in as administrator so I could run the virus scans properly. I decided to reformat and start over when I realized java was corrupted, and windows installer was not working either. I really don't think this was a glitch in windows vista, but rather a glitch in my brain, and being a bit cavalier with trying out freeware/shareware and running reg cleaners. The OS has been good to me thus far.
XTC46, I was able to boot with my vista upgrade cd, install without a cd key, and then install again, add my key, and it activated just fine. I'm not sure if this loophole is legal so don't necessarily advocate it, but all is well in vista land (as far as it can be).
November 23rd, 2007, 11:20 AM
just to confirm
On further investigation I realized I cannot open my firewall either. My computer states it's on and functioning, and I can view the policy manager, but cannot access the allow/block list at all
can you clarify WHICH F/W you are using ?
or, indeed, if you have multiple F/W's up
as it was OK, and then it just 'suddenly' happened, I would try and remove items from the check list before I even think of a re-install
but that is just at home ..................
if it is a works PC, re-image it now, and get back to work
55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's
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