As I have written before, the "automatic" Windows 10 updates have broken my carefully tweaked Windows Firewall rules on each and every Windows 10 computer on my network. My first clue is that those computers are no longer able to access each other. This is a major PITA, as I have several networked folders on each computer "mapped" as a drive letter. For instance, drive M:\ on my desktop is designated as my "media" drive, and is mapped as drive M:\ on each of my other computers as well. If I want to play an audio or video file on any computer, it is on drive M:\ -- easy!
In the last few days I have had to redo my Firewall rules on all of my Windows 10 computers THREE times!!! Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do.
The easiest way is to simply import a previously saved *.wfw (Windows FireWall backup file), such as "firewall_backup_2016-08-03.wfw". You can access the import and export settings from the Windows Firewall Advanced Settings. Although there are many ways to get there, such as from the Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Advanced Settings, the easiest way (since we apparently have to do this often) is to create a shortcut to go directly there. Right-click your Desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the target, type "%windir%\system32\WF.msc" (don't include the quotes). For name, use either "Windows Firewall with Advanced Security" or "Windows Firewall Advanced Settings". Now double-click your new shortcut and you will see "Import Policy..." and "Export Policy..." at the top of the righthand "Actions" column.
Note: If you do import rules, be sure that you import ones that were exported from the same computer, as many of the rules are for programs installed on that computer.
As I like to see and review my settings manually, I forgo the import, and instead go to "Inbound Rules" and "Outbound Rules" in the lefthand "Windows Firewall with Advanced Security" column, and manually edit those rules as outlined in my previous article, "Windows 10 Network Discovery Broke.pdf" (attached).
In either case, after testing my network to be sure everything is working, I do export a dated copy of my Firewall rules.
The February meeting has been rescheduled to February 26. Woody's SIG meeting for February has been cancelled.
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