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I have a new 2003 server up and running at a data center. I want to turn on the windows firewall, but I have to start the Windows Firewall/ICS service to do it. I don't want to turn it on and then have it block the remote desktop service.

If i turn on the service will it give me the opportunity to configure the firewall before I turn on the firewall itself?

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If you enable both the firewall and remote desktop, Windows Firewall will automatically make exceptions for remote desktop.

If you are cautious about blocking RDP, set the Firewall service startup type to manual then set up a scheduled task to reboot the server in 10 minutes. If you can't RDP in after enabling the firewall, go grab a coffee then come back in 10 minutes and it will fix itself. If you can RDP in, simply delete the task. I would not recommend this if the server is in production already, however.

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Actually I went ahead and started it, it turned on the service but the firewall was 'off'. I was then able to configure the firewall with a RDP exception, then turn 'on' the firewall. So that service has to be on in order to configure the firewall regardless of the state of the firewall itself being off or on. –  aceinthehole Jan 23 '11 at 22:03
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