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Windows Security Center not working


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#1 greyowl

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

If I turn my Windows Firewall off, I do not get a security alert from the Windows Security Center. So, I think it is not working properly. In fact, it has been ages since I got any alert from the Security Center, and I have had my AV turned off at times. I have the Security Center set to alert me.

Please help me investigate this problem.

Thank you.
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#2 mountaintree16

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

Is it possible that your AV is set to monitor itself, etc...?

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.

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It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives.
It's what we do consistently.

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#3 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:30 AM

Thanks for the response.

I use AviraFree which has features to protect the program from being terminated by viruses, but I can terminate the realtime service.
However, I don't think this would affect Windows Firewall so I still should get a notice from the Security Center if Windows Firewall is turned off. Is this right?
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#4 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:44 PM

Could someone help me with this problem?
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#5 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

Have you scanned with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware? If not, I'd recommend doing so as one of the things it detects is non-default Security Center settings. Just make certain that within Scanner Settings located under the Settings tab that you have it set to Show in results list and check for removal. next to Action for potentially unwanted modifications (PUM) before you run your scan.

Also make certain that you don't have any such items in your Ignore List, otherwise they will not be detected (anything like 'Hijack.SecurityCenter' etc.).
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#6 DarkSnakeKobra

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:06 PM

You can also do it manually by going into Control Panel/Security Center and click the link on the right that reads something like "Change how Security Center Alerts Me".

I'm not a staff member just another Malwarebytes' user.

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#7 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

Hi Samuel,

Thank you for the instructions.

I ran the MBAM Quick Scan, and it did not identify any problem with the Security Center.
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#8 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:29 PM

You can also do it manually by going into Control Panel/Security Center and click the link on the right that reads something like "Change how Security Center Alerts Me".


Thank you for the information.

I have checked all the options for alerts in the Securtiy Center.
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#9 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

OK, thanks :).

When you open Security Center, I assume it shows the status of your firewall, AV etc. as green, correct?

If so, what happens if you turn off your firewall or antivirus? Does the status change to red?

If so, does the red shield icon with an 'X' appear in your tray menu near your clock on the lower right-hand side of your screen?
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#10 DarkSnakeKobra

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

Thank you for the information.

I have checked all the options for alerts in the Securtiy Center.


You're welcome. :)

In addition to what exile said if it's yellow and says something like "Currently not monitored" or "You have chosen not to monitor this setting" and does not list any products as registered for antivirus or firewall then it's likely the alert settings caused this. :)

I'm not a staff member just another Malwarebytes' user.

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#11 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

OK, thanks :).

When you open Security Center, I assume it shows the status of your firewall, AV etc. as green, correct? Yes

If so, what happens if you turn off your firewall or antivirus? Does the status change to red? Yes

If so, does the red shield icon with an 'X' appear in your tray menu near your clock on the lower right-hand side of your screen? No


Answers:
Yes
Yes
No
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#12 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

You're welcome. :)

In addition to what exile said if it's yellow and says something like "Currently not monitored" or "You have chosen not to monitor this setting" and does not list any products as registered for antivirus or firewall then it's likely the alert settings caused this. :)


No, it does not say "not monitored".
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#13 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:04 PM

OK, thanks.

Please do the following:

  • Temporarily turn off automatic updates for Windows Update, setting it to never check for updates and make certain that Security Center is set to alert you about it (it should turn red in Security Center)
  • Open task manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard
  • Click on the Processes tab and make certain that Show processes from all users is checked
  • Sort the list by name by clicking on the Image Name column header
  • Look for a process called wscntfy.exe and let me know if it exists or not

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#14 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:12 PM

No, wscntfy.exe does not exist in the process list.
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#15 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Excellent, now we're getting somewhere. wscntfy.exe is the process for the Windows Security Center tray notifications.

You may now set your automatic updates back to the way you had them previously.

Now do the following:

  • Click on START then click Run
  • In the Run box type services.msc and press Enter or click on OK
  • Once it opens, scroll down the list of services and let me know if it says Started for the Security Center service

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#16 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

Yes, Security Center says Started. It is set as Automatic
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#17 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

Excellent.

Next, please do the following:

Run Dial-a-fix to fix permissions:
  • Please download Dial-a-fix
  • Unzip it and run Dial-a-fix.exe.
  • Click on the Policies button on the bottom of the window, and when the second window opens up there should be a list of restrictions,
  • make sure there is a check mark next to each one (there should be by default) and click the Remove button on the lower left.

Once complete, if anything was repaired, restart your computer and then check to see if disabling automatic updates for Windows Updates now causes the Security Center tray notification to show up.

Please let me know how it goes.

Thanks :)
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#18 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

BTW, the link for dial-a-fix doesn't work, but I got it from Softpedia.

On the policies window, do I uncheck the "hide disabled polices"?
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan

#19 exile360

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

No, you don't need to uncheck 'hide disabled policies'.
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#20 greyowl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:02 PM

No, you don't need to uncheck 'hide disabled policies'.


Then, there are no restrictive policies listed with that box checked.

When I uncheck "hide disabled polices" it lists three items: Disable Registry Tools for Current User and Machine; and Disable CMD for Current User.
Dell laptop, 1.6GHz, 1.5 gb ram, XPsp3, Avast Free, MBAM Pro, Windows XP Firewall, Firefox with NoScript & AdBan




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