The Windows Security Center which is included with Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista is a nice way of seeing the security status overview of your system but sometimes it makes mistakes after you have uninstalled one or more programs and replaced them with others. Here’s how to correct those problems with Security Center.
Sometimes, after you have uninstalled a firewall, antivirus or malware detection program the entry remains because the uninstaller failed to remove the entry from the Security Center either by design or just sloppy coding. Either way, you are not stuck and this is easily fixed.
You will need to force the operating system to repair Windows Management Instrumentation, before proceeding, create a restore point because if you mess up here, worse things can happen.
Launch System restore
Click Open System Protection
Select the “System” drive and click Create
Give your restore point a name…
And click Create one last time. The system will create your restore point and now in case there are any problems you will be able to recover the system (well, hopefully, anyway). Now let’s get on with sorting out Security Center, shall we?
Go to the start search box and type “services” (without quotes) and press enter.
The next screen you see will be a complete list of services, startup types and whether or not the service is started. Look for the entry “Windows Management Instrumentation” (WMI – highlighted in red) and make note that the service status is started.
In order to proceed you will need to pause the WMI service so double click the entry and click the “Pause” button.
It will take a few seconds for Windows to pause the service so wait until it completes before proceeding. Leave the services dialog box open. Now you need to proceed to your Windows directory and delete a specific folder. DO NOT delete ANY OTHER folder except the one that is specified.
Head to your “C:” drive or whichever drive Windows has been installed to and boots from. Go to the Windows directory…
Once inside the Windows directory locate the System32 folder and proceed into it… (make sure that you have entered the System32 folder and NOT the system folder)
Inside the System32 folder you will find the wbem directory so, yes, you need to go into another one, we’re almost done.
In wbem you will find a folder named Repository which contains information that is reported to the Security Center such as which programs are installed, firewall status, etc. As I said at the beginning after installing and uninstalling different security programs, these entries can become corrupted and report false information to the Security Center.
With your Services dialog box still open, check and make sure that the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service is still paused, if it is, proceed, if not, go back and follow the steps to pause the service. Once you are sure the service is paused, go ahead and delete the repository folder and make sure ONLY to delete the repository folder, DO NOT delete any other entries.
Yes, I did say to delete the repository folder, see it, sitting right there, delete it, I mean it, do it now, did you do so, okay. Now, go back to your services dialog box and remember how the WMI service is paused, well, it’s time to start it up again so double click the Windows Management Instrumentation entry once more and click Resume.
This step forces Windows to redo the inventory of your installed security applications (firewall, antivirus and the like) and rebuild the Security Center index. It will take a few moments for the service to Resume. Remember that repository folder you deleted, well, you will now note that it has magically been created again with a new inventory of what’s installed (the files are Vista specific and are not meant to be understood by us mere mortals).
The Security Center may still be reporting the wrong information but that’s okay, sometimes you have to restart in order for all the changes to take effect. After you have performed all these steps (and optionally restarted if the changes did not take immediate effect), you will note that the Security Center is almost barren at first, this means it is retrieving the new information and will take a few moments before the new data is displayed. Once fully initiated, the Security Center should now be displaying the correct information as to what programs are installed and functioning.
If you have followed these instructions to the exacting letter, there should be no problems. If you did somehow manage to mess anything up, there’s that restore point we created earlier and depending on how much of a mess you created, may have to be accessed in safe mode but that’s another post for another time.
These instructions can be followed with little modification for Windows XP SP2 users as well.