Windows Firewall settings

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"Windows cannot display Windows Firewall settings" error while accessing Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2”

Symptoms

1.    When you open Services.msc applet, the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service may not be available in the listing

2.    Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service is available in Services listing, but you are unable to start the service

3.    You receive the following error message while accessing the firewall settings (firewall.cpl)

Due to an unidentified problem, Windows cannot display Windows Firewall settings. Fig1  

Cause
Case 1: This happens due to missing or corrupt SharedAccess registry key, which represents the Windows Firewall Service. This usually occurs if the system is infested with Virus or other Malware, or in the aftermath of Virus removal. In conjunction with the solution provided in the article, it's advisable to run a thorough cleanup of the system.
Case 2: You have Windows Live OneCare installed. Windows Live OneCare has its 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 Firewall if the latter is running. [More info]
Therefore, Windows Live OneCare users can safely ignore the error message concerning the Windows Firewall.

Resolution
Solution for Case 1:
Download sharedaccess.reg (only for systems running Windows XP Service Pack 2) and save to Desktop. Then double-click the file to merge the contents to the registry. The Services entry will be created. Restart Windows (mandatory step, otherwise the following NETSH command will display an error message).
After restarting Windows, run this from Command Prompt (cmd.exe)
NETSH FIREWALL RESET
Launch firewall applet from Control Panel, and then configure your Windows Firewall settings.
If none of the above methods help, as a last-resort solution (before reinstalling Windows XP Service Pack 2), give these two commands a try. Click Start, Run and type:
rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection Ndi-Steelhead 132 %windir%\inf\netrass.inf
Restart Windows, and then run this command (from Command Prompt):
NETSH FIREWALL RESET
Attempt to start Firewall applet. Start the Windows Firewall service when prompted.

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