Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I applied a Windows firewall rule that blocks all tcp connection and thus kicked myself out of remote desktop on a dedicated server. I managed to get into recovery via VNC, which is basically a windows xp recovery system.

I have access to the physical files of the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation, but I don't know how to disable the firewall so I can reboot from recovery and connect to the W2K8 via remote desktop.

How can I edit the firewall properties of Windows Server 2008 while the OS is essentially powered off and I have filesystem access to the system files?

share|improve this question
up vote 13 down vote accepted

You can disable Windows Firewall using the Registry; the relevant settings are in


Under there, you will find three keys: DomainProfile, PublicProfile and StandardProfile; each of them contains a value called EnableFirewall, which controls the firewall state for that profile. If you set all three values to 0, Windows Firewall will be completely disabled.

If you want to do this for an offline system, you'll need to load that system's Registry into Regedit; the file to load is C:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM. You'll also need to find the right ControlSet to configure, because CurrentControlSet is only available at runtime; when operating on an offline Registry, you'll need to choose the correct one between the various ControlSet00x you'll find under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Select can help you here.

share|improve this answer
I wish I'd seen this two years ago. Great answer! Thanks. – Kul-Tigin Aug 6 '14 at 18:13

Go to Control Panel and then open the Windows Firewall. Under Windows Firewall page click on “Turn Windows Firewall on or off” option. Then, turn off the firewall for both public and private network.

share|improve this answer
His system isn't running... – Massimo Mar 19 '12 at 20:10

From command line (run as administrator), netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state off

share|improve this answer
That would be good... on a running system :-) – Massimo Mar 19 '12 at 20:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.