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NVIDIA "hidden firewall" causes networking problem
On Sunday, August 13, 2006 3:03:32 PM UTC-4, JClark wrote:
If you have the NVIDIA nforce networking controller with onboard LAN,
you may have a "hidden firewall" interfering with your network
connection. I'll describe my own situation and how I resolved the
problem. I owe great gratitude to Chuck, frequent poster in this
group, who worked with me for about a week, and had suggested the
possibility of the NVIDIA "hidden firewall", but I was reluctant to
accept that because, well, it really was hidden and I couldn't find it
(and still can't). But it was there.
(For those who want to review the original thread, it was posted in
this group under the title "networking only works one way" on
Here's the background, some thoughts which may be helpful, and
finally, my recommendation and detailed instructions on how to correct
the problem, or at least how I corrected it.
My computer was built around the ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard, and the LAN
drivers were installed when I got it. Per the user's manual, the
motherboard comes with the NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI chipset and built-in
Gigabit Ethernet. It also supports NV ActiveArmor, NVFirewall, and AI
I had no networking problems until I updated the NVIDIA drivers some
time in the past and forgot about it. I had no need to network to my
notebook until recently. That's when I found out that the networking
had become a "one-way street" with my server able to see and work with
shared files on the notebook. But the notebook could only see the
shared folders on the server but could not open them. To make a very
long story short, I exhausted all of the networking manipulations
which Chuck's excellent advice and his website had to offer (details
of the saga in the thread cited above), and then corrected the problem
by uninstalling the NVIDIA drivers and reinstalling them without the
Forceware Network Access Manager. I was lulled into a false sense of
security the first few times I did this, because I specifically did
*not* install the firewall and disabled the ActiveArmor firewall
configuration program. I did, however, install the Network Access
Manager, thinking from the title, that it enabled me to connect to my
"network". Wrong. Actually it's just a web-based configuration manager
for the NVIDIA LAN, firewall, and ActiveArmor, like the one Linksys
routers use. Not needed. But the "hidden firewall" must have been
installed with the manager nonetheless. But it was indeed hidden.
With that background, I have outlined a stepwise solution, which I
would recommend if you have a similar problem. There's nothing
1. First go to Local area connection properties and write down all the
values, especially for TCP/IP, including values under the advanced
tab. You'll need these later.
(Control Panel\network connections\local area connection - right
2. Download the appropriate drivers for your system and OS. In my case
it was nForce4 series for AMD/Win2k/XP
3. Now go to control panel|add remove programs.
4. Remove Network Access Manager first. (Don't remove NVMixer, a
5. Remove NVIDIA drivers.During the removal, a menu will appear to
ask you which components you want to remove. Choose "Remove all
drivers except display". This makes things a lot easier. If you remove
"display" when you reboot, you may have trouble continuing, because
without display drivers, the "next" and "enter" buttons will be off
the bottom of the screen. I was lucky enough to be able to proceed by
using a blind "CTRL-ENTER" but you may not be that lucky. There's no
need to remove the display drivers.
7. Install the new drivers from the downloaded .exe file. When you are
asked "Do you want to install NVIDIA Firewall and Forceware Network
Access Manager?", just say "NO"
9. Remember you'll now have to reconfigure TCP/IP. Control panel,
right click "network connections"\open\local area connection\right
click\properties\internet protocol (TCP/IP)\properties. Go through all
the screens, including under advanced tab, and fill in all fields as
they were before they got deleted. (You wrote them down at the
If you want some more input, do a search with words NVIDIA and
"network access manager". Here are two sites I came upon:
From the above site, a quote:
"The NVIDIA Firewall and ForceWare Network Access Manager was not
installed because it is not needed, can make intentional network
access more troublesome,..."
Another site, randomly chosen. There are many more.
I hope this helps other users with this problem.
Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of this information! I just wrote it down. After having several "specialists" attempt to help me with the problems I am having I was told I had to figure it out myself and was advised, by professionals, to google it when I asked them how I was supposed to do it. Your information has been the most informative that I have read to date and is the information I am about to attempt to try. Thank you for posting, and I will let you know how things go once I am done with, what seems like a long but well worth it, process. Holly