Dear Windows Vista Firewall,
When I ask you (repeatedly, and on multiple occasions) to turn off, why do you insist on re-activating yourself at random? Please go away.
No really. What is it with the Windows Vista Firewall and its refusal to go away? At NeoSmart Technologies all our PCs are secured behind two firewalls: a hardware firewall and Microsoft ISA Server. The only traffic that gets in is the traffic that we want to get in. Now we can appreciate having the firewall on by default; but after turning it off over 20 times, it’s getting to be too much.
At first it was only upon restarting the PC. You’d restart the PC, boot into Windows, and be prompted to unblock a program from accessing the internet. Disable the firewall, and get back to work. Rinse and repeat as needed.
But now it seems all we have to do is leave a Vista-powered PC up and running for a couple of days, and (without warning, trigger, or any user intervention), the stupid firewall turns itself back on again! As great as the Vista firewall may be,1 we simply don’t need it!
The problem is, this isn’t just one PC. We’ve spotted this behavior on 3 PCs, and it has no rhyme or reason. It comes without cause or warning, and it doesn’t have a pattern to how long it takes before it reactivates. However, there is a solution:
- Start | Run | Services.msc (alternatively: Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services Management)
- Find the entry “Windows Firewall” | Right-Click it -> Properties
- Press “Stop”
- Change “Startup type” to “Disabled”
- Press OK and exit.
Those steps should eliminate the Windows Vista Firewall for good on your PC. If you need to go back and start using it again for whatever reason, just change the startup type back to Automatic and reboot.
Yes, we really do mean it. It now has a full MMC control panel, and it’s fully customizable – even more so than our previous favorites for Windows XP, namely Sygate and Outpost in that order ↩