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Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

Some time about a month ago my McAfee Security Center autoupdated to a newer version.  I'm currently running version: 10.5, build 10.5.178, affld:0, language: en-us, last updated: 6/10/2010.  My issue is this after that recent update I started getting multiple alerts per day about the windows firewall being turned off that I didn't get with the prior version.  I've tried to disable the "firewall off" alert under Security Center -> General Settings and Alerts -> Protection Alerts -> "Don't show an alert when firewall is off".  However, disabling the alert does absolutely nothing and I'm still getting the alert regularly.  I have a very robust hardware firewall installed between my home network and my cable modem and don't wish to waste precious CPU clock cycles running a software firewall that will accomplish nothing behind my hardware firewall.  I need a reliable way to turn off this alert to get back to the state I was in with the earlier McAfee version.  I do not and will not turn on Windows Firewall, nor will I pay for or install McAfee's Personal Firewall product.  I only run Security Center and Virus Scan.  I have no interest in running Personal Firewall or SiteAdvisor on my PCs.

Please tell me how to disable this annoying alert ASAP!!!

109 Replies
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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

You are very unwise not to run a software firewall of any kind even if you have a hardware based one such as those found in routers.   The software simply is designed to operate with the minimum of antivirus and firewall installed and running.  It's been several years since the products were sold seperately when one could choose what to install.

If you don't want warnings then you have chosen the wrong product I'm afraid.

All may not be lost however.  I suggest you contact Technical Support Chat to see if there is a workaround.   Linked under Useful Links above.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

Calling me unwise because I don't need to and won't use ceratin McAfee product is downright insulting.  In real life I'm a network and software consultant and dare I say know a thing or two about hardware based routers and firewalls and quite a few software firewall like products too.  So trying to scold me like a child on this topic or trying to force me to run another McAfee product just won't fly.  I sincerly hope other McAfee customers reading this posting don't buy that attitude either.

For quite a few years, starting back 4 or 5 major version of VirusScan, I had been a very happy McAfee customer.   Recently however the introduction of this new firewall alerting behavior in SecurityCenter 10.5 has really taken me to believe that McAfee marketing and revenue generation has taken over the drivers seat from McAfee engineering.  If I find there isn't a way to turn off this revenue driving feature I'll terminate my subscription and buy a competator's product.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

I wasn't trying to lecture you, only passing on what experts have been telling me for years and no, I don't work for McAfee so it's no skin off my nose what anyone does.  As I said perhaps Technical Support Chat can help you.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

I use zone alarm instead of windows firewall, but since one of the updates i have the same problem you do. I get constant windows at risk notices, even when i click ok or dismiss it pops up right away sometimes. I emailed support a few weeks ago and besides the automated response never heard from them. I switched from AVG to Mcaffee and now feel i made another mistake. Trying to get help is pain for one thing, but its a silly issue it was non existant before someone had to make it flag a error box now. The virtual tech has never worked for me since install, and it the software interferes with thunderbird even though it has full permissions.   Im not meaning to thread hijack, but i wanted to point out that many users it seems would like the notification to simply stop when you tell it not to notify you. why do i need 2 software firewalls, MS might not sell av software, but its firewall is a direct threat to mcaffee, which i think won't recog that i am using zone alarm instead.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

I see your point - maybe if enough people complain to Tech Support someone will eventually listen.

Meanwhile I will bring this up again at our conference call on Monday.

Message was edited by: Ex_Brit on 03/07/10 8:01:17 EDT PM
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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

Here's an update...

Short story:  After 3+ hours on a chat on Saturday I finally broke through to McAfee that one, this is a bug, and two it needs to be fixed soon. Readers can quit there if that's all you want to know.

Long story detail:  The first level tech on the inital chat wasted about 1.5 hours of my time asking over and over again to remote view, control, and install software on my PC.  Already sensing someone dumber than a stump, simply reading pre-canned support "if this - then do that" scripts, I refused each attempt to take over my PC.  Then I spent another hour of playing stupid question #47, like what version of SecurityCenter is installed 5 times.  The result of this tech's simpleton pattern matching against "known problems" (which should really be "known symptoms" because that's all they get to know) resulted in "you must reinstall McAfee because I think you're missing a file".  Kind of sounds like the one solution to all MS Windows OS problems. After another 20 questions about which file is missing, I can look for files you know, resulted in "a McAfee DLL must be missing".  BTW, at this point I should probably mention I that I've spent 20+ years in software engineering/support/consulting diagnosing problems in my employers software and often diagnosing problems in someone else's software or hardware so my employer stops getting blamed for someone else's problem.  Again not accepting an inspecific symptom match from said first level tech she gave up and (finally) escalated the chat to a second level tech, supposedly her supervisor too, but I really doubt that.  Well after not wanting to play 20 questions again I prodded this second level tech to go read the log of the prior chat so that he'd know what McAfee already knew so I wouldn't have to repeat the whole process. After that I only had to answer 2 more questions.  Then, the second level tech went off for 20-30 minutes of dead time on the chat.  He came back and say this is an escalated "issue" with the SecurityCenter scanner (meaning a real bug that they take seriously) that will be addressed within 2 weeks.  After going back and forth with this tech 3-4 times in the chat as to the case or bug number or how I can tell when it gets fixed he finally settled on "an automatic update will automatically fix the "issue" sometime within that 2 week window" and that I'll be able to tell it's fixed when the pop ups just go away after McAfee automatic update is installed.  Rest assured that I will be back on a chat with McAfee if the bug is not fixed in the 2 week time frame, but otherwise guess I can put up with the annoyance of the erroneous "Your system is at risk" pop ups for another 2 weeks as long they are taking fixing it seriously.

BTW, Ex-Brit if you don't work for McAfee you certainly must be close to them in some business sense if you're having periodic "conference calls" with them.  So you're not as removed and detached from the process as you'd like us to all believe.  Also, blindly taking what the (so called) experts tell you should do is truely unwise or nieve at best.  I make is rule that unless a so called expert can tell me in detail a symptom that I can verify myself I don't blindly do what they tell me to do, like "reinstall McAfee because I think you're missing a (unnamed) file". There are always other agendas in play with sofware and hardware support, some revenue driven, some cost driven, and some time (consumption) driven, even when good people would otherwise like to keep customers pleased.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

Here's the McAfee service request details I got via email while I was on the chat..

-        Order #:
-        Service Request #: 527142790
-        Created Date: 07/03/2010 10:12:45
-        Description: Some time about a month ago my McAfee Security Center autoupdated to a newer version.  Im currently running version 10.5, build 10.5.178, affld0, language en-us, last updated 6102010.  My issue is this after that recent update I started getting multiple alerts per day about the windows firewall being turned off that I didnt get with the prior version.  Ive tried to disable the "firewall off" alert under Security Center - General Settings and Alerts - Protection Alerts - "Dont show an alert when firewall is off".  However, disabling the alert does absolutely nothing and Im still getting the alert regularly.  I have a very robust hardware firewall installed between my home network and my cable modem and dont wish to waste precious CPU clock cycles running a software firewall that will accomplish nothing behind my hardware firewall.  I need a reliable way to turn off this alert to get back to the state I was in with the earlier McAfee version.  I do not and will not turn on Windows Firewall, nor will I pay for or install McAfees Personal Firewall product.  I only run Security Center and Virus Scan.  I have no interest in running Personal Firewall or SiteAdvisor on my PCs.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

The Conference call is mainly so that we can beat them with a stick to get things done but officially it's so we can point out areas where they need to pay more attention.   Needless to say, those areas are quite extensive and growing daily.   I'm retired but used to work for a major corporation in P.R. and I know how frustrating it can be trying to get anything done from both an employee and a customer's viewpoint.

I try to be unbiased here if I can, but obviously have to defer to McAfee's wishes as far as what I can say or do.

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Re: Can't turn off "Windows Firewall: off" alert.

When you installed the product did you opt NOT to install the firewall?  If so then telling it to ignore when  warning comes up should work.  If you installed the firewall but turned it off then you will be warned.

Anyway the manager needs to know that answer please.

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