Computer warning question

I’m having this thing where when I turn on my computer I get a warning saying my firewall has been turned off. I check my security settings and my firewall is turned on as it always is.

Is this false warning a harmless glitch or a sign of a serious problem?

Details if needed: it runs Windows XP and I don’t get the warning every time I start up - maybe about one time in four.

Which firewall do you use, and how quickly does it start?

I guess it is the XP built in firewall.

I’ve seen that before, mainly on older, slower computers running XP. It is due to some race condition where the doohickey that checks if the firewall is active starts before the firewall has initialized.

On other computers it won’t start at all and needs to be started manually each time.

Go to services.msc and find Windows Firewall. At the options there make sure that the service starts automatically. Then at the tab Recovery there are some other options about first, second and subsequent failures. I remember that I solved the problem by changing these settings but right now I am not at a Windows computer so I don’t remember what these options should be.


So it sounds more like a harmless glitch than a serious problem.

Yes, when I was on XP I used to get this message upon logging in, but it turns off after a short while. No harm. Just check that your firewall is indeed active.

It’s also possible to turn off that warning. Scroll down about halfway: