I don't know exactly what happened to the predefined rules, but I see three possibilities:
another Security suite which includes a firewall - McAfcee - had been installed on the system. When installed, it removed all the pre-defined rules. McAfee's security suite has since been removed from the PC, but the pre-defined rules did not re-appear.
the Home versions of Windows 7 simply don't get predefined rules. I find this less likely, only because security is such a huge focus of Microsoft.
there was a virus that removed all these rules.
I don't know which of these, if any, is the actual reason the predefined rules are gone. I don't have a virgin Win7 Home Premium to examine, and I don't have the full forensic records of the Win7 Home Premium system. In any case, it doesn't matter.
After some spelunking, I found that the predefined rules for Windows Firewall on Windows 7 installs that do have predefined rules are stored in the Windows Registry at:
On my Win7 Home Premium machine, I looked in that key and found.... nothing? The key hierarchy was there, but no values.
I got the pre-defined rules to appear (re-appear?) on my Win7 Home Premium machine by following these steps:
- On the Win7 Home Premium machine, run
services.msc and stop Windows Firewall
- On the Win7 Ultimate machine, open regedit, go to the specified key, and export it.
- transfer the .reg file to the Win7 Home Premium machine
- on the Win7 Home Premium machine, run Regedit, and Import the .reg file
- Reboot the Win7 Home Premium machine
- on restart, open Windows Firewall Advanced Settings, click the Add Rule... button, and view the predefined rules.
I hope this helps someone else.
As always, when modifying the registry, be super careful and back everything up prior to making modifications.