Windows Firewall Not Starting / cannot find bfe file error 2

Hi all,

I've been searching the web trying to figure out this problem and I came across this forum. I've followed alot of the advice on this forum and would like to avoid doing a fresh reinstall of Vista x64. Here's the history:

I noticed that my firewall was turned off and attempted to turn it on. In doing so I got an error stating that the Windows firewall services could not be started. So I checked the services it depended on and figured out that the Base Filtering Engine was not started. I checked the services that BFE depended on and found that they were started. So I tried to restart the BFE service and got an ERROR 2: Cannot find the file specified. I checked the system folder and the bfe.dll file is in there. From there I ran scf.exe and checked the CBS.log. In there I found the following.

CSI 0000015d [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:24{12}]"settings.ini" of Microsoft-Windows-Sidebar, Version = 6.0.6002.18005, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_AMD64 (9), Culture neutral, VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch

I checked system restore for the oldest restore point and for some reason it only goes back a couple days which would be after the problem started happening.

QUESTION: Is there a way to simply replace the bfe.dll file without doing a complete reinstall?

QUESTION: Could replacing the settings.ini file fix the problem?

QUESTION: Any other suggestions on fixing this problem without having to reinstall Vista.

Thanks for all your help. This forum has helped me get this far:grinning:


Mostly Harmless
Staff member

Try renaming "settings.ini" to "_settings.ini", then restarting the BFE. It should re-create the settings at startup, assuming that was the actual problem.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Your lack of restore points.
XP and W7 make it easy to increase the space available to store SR points (SR uses a fifo queue so the more space you allow SR to use, the further back you can get. Don't worry it doesn't permanently consume the space. As you allocate more user files, the space used by SR will shrink, so you'd just as well let it use all the spare space on the HDD.)
In Vista this is a bit more of a performance, but still not too difficult.