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Deploying Windows Firewall with a Netfw.inf File

Updated: June 8, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

You can use the Netfw.inf file to turn on Windows Firewall and configure Windows Firewall settings during an installation of Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). The Netfw.inf file is typically used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a manufacturing setting, but it can also be used in a corporate environment during a large-scale rollout of SP1; however, unattended installation is the preferred method for deploying Windows Firewall in a corporate environment.

If you use a Netfw.inf file to automate the configuration of Windows Firewall settings, the settings that you specify in Netfw.inf are reapplied to the computer when you restore Windows Firewall default settings. Any Windows Firewall settings that you specify in an answer file, such as Unattend.txt, are deleted and are not restored. If you want to restore the Windows Firewall settings that you configured during installation with an answer file, you must configure the settings manually.

For more information about using the Netfw.inf file to deploy Windows Firewall, see "Windows Firewall Tools and Settings" in the Windows Firewall Technical Reference on the Microsoft Web site (

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