Q: Windows Firewall says Security Essentials says it is turned off. What is happening?

Windows firewall reports Security Essentials tells it Security Essentials is turned off. Security Essentials seems to come up normally. I ran a security scan with the microsoft tool and it comes back with no issues. The Windows Firewall Security Alert nevertheless says SE is reporting to Security Center that it is turned off. I am on Windows XP Media Center Edition.




1. Do you have any prior Security Software?

2. Any security software still installed on the computer?


I would suggest you to follow these methods and check.


Method 1: A possible reason for this problem is that you have conflicting security software installed fully or partially on the PC. Remove all other security software from the PC.

You may need to use a cleanup tool to remove your prior security software:


Method 2: Delete repository and check if it helps.


a.       Press start > type in the box "services.msc" then press ok

b.      In the list of services, double-click on Windows Management Instrumentation. Click on Stop and then OK.

c.       Now Locate the folder C: \ WINDOWS \ system32 \ wbem \ Repository and delete it.

d.      Restart services Windows Management Instrumentation and restart your pc.


Method 3: Restart the Security Center service.


a. Click Start, Click Run, type “services.msc” (without quotes) and press Enter.

b. Double-click "Security Center" service. Click Stop, click Start.


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I experienced something similar after a reinstallation of XP and a massive series of Windows Updates.

  I ended up with both Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender installed. WD is a less pwoerful service and can conflict with MSE.

  The problem seemed to go away when I used the Control Panel to uninstall Windows Defender.

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This worked great - thanks. However every day I get the same message and have to do it all over again. It seems a temporary solution rather than a permanent one for me.

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Thanks Samule but no Windows defender on my computer.

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This seems a regular answer that does not solve the problem long term. I have done a clean install of XP through SP3 including a clean istall of IE8 and Office 2010 and everything worked for a day now we are back to MSE not updating automatically over 1100 failed updates on Microsoft Update.


The first failed update was:

Windows XP Security Update for Windows XP (KB2423089)


Any ideas?

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i was having a VERY similar problem, and "Security Center" was not showing up in the list on "services.msc" 

i did these exact steps as instructed, and poof!! fixed. i can see "security center" in the list, and now it shows that microsoft security essentials is my virus program (before, it said i didn't have one, and had a red-flag). THANKS SO MUCH

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Question Info

Views: 7,014 Last updated: March 26, 2018 Applies to: