Oct 252012

Great googly-moogly. I’ve been fighting with a variety of services on one of my Windows machines for several weeks. Windows updates have been deadlocked since mid August. Some troubleshooting guide suggested disabling Windows Firewall temporarily until the updates could complete.

Not only did disabling Windows Firewall not resolve the Windows Update issue, but Windows Firewall would not restart! I mucked around with it for a bit, and then put the whole machine aside for a rainy day repaving.

More recently, I decided to see what this Windows 7 Homegroup thing was about. Set it up on a few machines on the home network, and… nothing. Everybody’s on the same homegroup password, and at least a few machines are sharing folders with the homegroup, but nothing shows up in the homegroup list.  Digging around in one machine turned up an error starting the Homegroup Listener service. Probably important for listening to other homegroup members, eh?

It turns out that the Homegroup Listener service requires the Windows Firewall service to be running. And wouldn’t you know, this is the machine that can’t start Windows Firewall.

A little more investigation led me to this thread about Windows Firewall system error 6801. In amongs several guesses was this note from “DPTower”:

FIXED IT! – For all having this specific problem, please follow these steps!!
Open a “run as administrator” command prompt.
Go to “c:\windows\system32\config\TxR” (or the equivalent location on your PC)
– run “attrib –H –S *” to make all hidden files in the directory visible.
– run “del *.blf”
– run “del *.regtrans-ms”
– reboot the machine

This didn’t sound like your usual pundit taking wild guesses, and the answer had been voted up many times by others. So I gave it a try. Deleted those files, rebooted the machine, went to enable Windows Firewall, and boom! It started!  Hazaah!

Up next: catching up on 2 months and 200MB of Windows Updates.  And while that’s cooking I’ll poke at this Homegroup thing some more.  (Is it true that Homegroup doesn’t play well with IPv6? What genius dreamed up that limitation? My entire home network is IPv6!)