Windows Server 2003 - "Windows Cannot Display Windows Firewall" Settings Error

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Windows Server 2003 - "Windows Cannot Display Windows Firewall Settings" Error

Issue
When attempting to access the Windows firewall you receive the error "Windows Cannot Display Windows Firewall settings". Or you noticed that the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service is not listed in Services.msc or is unable to restart the service.

Possible Causes 
  • You have Windows Live OneCare installed.
  • You have missing or corrupt SharedAccess registry keys that represent the Windows firewall service.

Resolutions
Windows Live OneCare
Windows Live OneCare has it's own firewall which monitors both inbound and outbound connections.  Because two firewalls should not be turned on at the same time, Windows Live OneCare turns off Windows Server Firewall if the latter is running.  Therefore, Windows Live OneCare users can safely ignore the error message concerning Windows firewall.

Missing or Corrupt SharedAccess Registry Keys
This usually occurs if your system is infested with viruses or other mal-ware, or in the aftermath of a airus removal.  In conjunction with the resolution that is provided in this article, it's advisable to perform a thorough cleanup of the system.

  1. Download the file sharedaccess.reg only for Windows Server 2003 systems with Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3 installed and save it to the desktop.
  2. Double-click the file to merge the contents to the registry.  This recreates the Services registry entries.
  3. Manually reboot/restart Windows. (Otherwise the following NETSH command will display an error.)
  4. Once Windows has finished rebooting.  Execute the following command from the Run dialog. Start > Run > cmd /k netsh firewall reset.
  5. Launch the firewall applet from the server control panel by clicking on Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall, to see if you are able to configure the Windows Firewall settings.
If the above steps do not help, as a last resort resolution (before attempting to re-install the Service Pack)
  1. Execute the following command from the Run dialog. Start > Run > rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection Ndi-Steelhead 132 %windir%\inf\netrass.inf
  2. Manually reboot/restart Windows.
  3. Once Windows has finished rebooting.  Execute the following command from the Run dialog. Start > Run > cmd /k netsh firewall reset.
  4. Launch firewall applet from the server control panel. Click on Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall, to see if you are able to configure the Windows firewall settings.


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