McAfee Firewall Keeps Switching Off

  morters 12:33 24 Nov 2012

My apologies for reposting this but the main forum has been swamped by rugby spam and I think my post (which, uniquely for me on this forum, has not had a response) has disappeared beneath the radar.

I have Windows 7 with pre-installed McAfee anti-virus. A few days ago it started warning that my computer was at risk and that I needed to switch on the firewall; I haven’t timed it very accurately, but it seems to switch to off again in anything between 30 minutes and 1 3/4 hours.

Have tried to find solution on internet but generally couldn’t understand the suggestions as they were too technical for me. I have, however, performed a full scan with McAfee, Malwarebytes and Eset. What little that was found and removed has not sorted it. I also failed to find Windows Firewall.

This is obviously of concern. Can anyone suggest a solution, please?

A supplementary question if nobody can answer the main one, as a temporary fix, would it make sense to install free ZoneAlarm firewall or will this cause conflicts?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  johndrew 16:03 24 Nov 2012

Why not just use the W7 firewall? It covers both incoming and outgoing and is not a bad bit of software.

  morters 13:49 25 Nov 2012

Sincere apologies, Johndrew, for lack of my response - this what happens when you post on 2 forums! I originally posted this at 9.00 am yesterday but didn't get a response on the main forum until 4:15 pm, which I didn't pick up until an hour later because I thought no-one had any ideas. So grovelling apologies for my apparent rudeness.

Wish that I could use Win7 firewall!" If I open it up, I get the following message: get a message saying: 'Update your firewall settings: Windows Firewall is not using the recommended settings to protect your computer.' When I click the buttpn marked 'Use recommended settings', I get error message: 'Windows Firewall can't change some of your settings. Error code 0x80070424.

Again, my apologies.

  johndrew 14:40 25 Nov 2012

I think you need to uninstall McAfee firewall before W7 firewall will work correctly. It is possible for firewalls to conflict in much the same way as AVs will. This is likely to be the cause of your error code.

If the above fails try a diagnostic on the W7 firewall and if that fails follow the instructions here.

Additionally it may be worth doing a system file check to ensure you have no broken files.

However there is also a risk you have picked up a rootkit virus which may also cause problems. If so the link may help.

Let us know how you get on.

  morters 15:19 25 Nov 2012

johndrew, sorry for delay replying, just got back from Sainsbury's, thanks for reply.

Don't think I have McAfee disk, so can't uninstall without completely losing it (McAfee was pre-installed and extended for 15 months). But it still begs the question: why is McAfee playing up?

Will try and work my way through your suggestions - am not tech savvy - and come back with results. Thanks again.

  morters 15:56 25 Nov 2012


In order of the links you supplied, these are my results:

1 Windows Firewall cannot be set as default firewall...because you are using McAfee Firewall

2 Windows could not start the Base Filtering Engine service on Local Computer. Error 5: Acess is denied

3 You must be an administrator running a console session in order to use the sfc utility. I entered my password used to boot PC but it was not recognized. Sure I'm doing something stupid but don't know anything better.

4 Didn't find either folder or file listed on link.

Like I said, I'm not tech savvy, so it's very probable I've done something stooopid.

  johndrew 11:24 26 Nov 2012
  1. As I thought, it is McAfee that is blocking W7 firewall. Can you turn McAfee off?

  2. Is associated with 1. above I think.

  3. To run the "console session" as administrator:

Go to "Start" and type "Command Prompt" in the search box. When the list opens identify "Command Prompt" under "Programs" and right click it, in the list you see click on "Run as Administrator". A window will open.

Once Command Prompt is open, type the following command and then press Enter.

sfc /scannow

Note: There's a space between sfc and /scannow.

System File Checker will now verify the integrity of every protected operating system file on your computer.

When the process has finished "Restart" your computer regardless of whether any files were repaired or not. If sfc /scannow did actually repair any files this may have been causing problems.

  1. The fact you didn't find any folder listed is an indication your system is not infected.
  morters 15:13 05 Dec 2012

Thank you, johndrew. Did not expect another reply, so, as I was off to Spain for a week on day after my last post decided to contact McAfee help line and get it sorted out before I went away.

They told me I had been hacked and suggested that for £25 (I think) they would clear it for me. They also suggested that 'as the hacker knew his way round my computer he would probably visit again', and that to cover against this, for £75.80 they would clear the computer and clear it again for up to a year for any revisits. I went for the latter. All sorted now but a bit peeved at charge. Will not be renewing with McAfee!

Thanks again for all your help, but as indicated above, did not try your last suggestions and apologies for unavoidable delay replying.

  morters 12:41 07 Dec 2012

Thanks for your suggestions, rdave13, will try to remember when McAfee sub ends in Juky 2013. I was using Eset's online scanner.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iPad Air (2019) review

Digital humans aren't just possible - they're essential in today's top games

iMac 27in (2019) review

Les bons plans appareils photos (2019)