Fix: Windows 8 does not detect installed Firewall / Antivirus

I ran into this situation the other day where I installed ESET Smart Security, but Windows 8 was unable to detect that I have installed any antivirus software or firewall. My first instinct was to reinstall my security software. So I went and remove ESET completely using its removal tool, because most of the security software I used, never really removed everything when I uninstalled it. So I had to run the Eset Removal Tool to clean all the left over files. Then I rebooted the system and reinstall ESET completely and updated it. Everything is working fine except the fact that my Windows is still not recognizing that ESET is installed.

windowssecurity Fix: Windows 8 does not detect installed Firewall / Antivirus

Run System File Checker

Since we reinstalled ESET that ruled out program related issues. So it’s definitely Windows. So the next thing I tried was to run the System Integrity Checker i.e. SFC /SCANNOW.


  • Press Win + X
  • Click on “Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type in SFC /SCANNOW

I rebooted the system and checked again, but still it did not help. After some research I found Windows Management Instrumentation  (WMI) is what is responsible in reporting if and Security software is installed on the machine or not.  So I thought of repairing WMI completely, because I wasn’t sure which particular service or files was responsible. So I ran the following script file in the form of batch file:

cd /d %windir%\System32\Wbem
net stop winmgmt


REM REG IMPORT %windir%\WBEM.reg

winmgmt /clearadap
winmgmt /kill
winmgmt /unregserver
winmgmt /regserver
winmgmt /resyncperf

del %windir%\System32\Wbem\Repository /Q
del %windir%\System32\Wbem\AutoRecover /Q

for %%i in (*.dll) do Regsvr32 -s %%i
for %%i in (*.mof,*.mfl) do Mofcomp %%i
wmiadap.exe /Regsvr32
wmiapsrv.exe /Regsvr32
wmiprvse.exe /Regsvr32

net start winmgmt

But that didn’t help. I was back to square one.

Re-register WMIUTILS.DLL

Then I stumbled upon a specific dll which is responsible for reporting if security software is present or not posted by Niki Han. We need to re-register WMIUTILS.DLL. It seems like the script didn’t uninstall and re-register.

To re-register dll file:

  • Press Win + X
  • Click on “Command Prompt (Admin)
  • regsvr32 /u WMIUTILS.DLL
  • Reboot the System
  • regsvr32 WMIUTILS.DLL

Then I again rebooted the system and went to the Action Center.

It reported my security software correctly.

Mission Accomplished!

Hope this tip helps you.

Windows 7 users can also try this – but they can also see if this hotfix helps out.

Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at
  • Sky

    sorry if it does not fit the topic. I would like to inquire about antivirus. what is the best anti virus. I had been using avira 2013 free with malware bytes but both use memory up to 50,000 K and 30,000 k. so I want is there av that uses less RAM but good protection. ESET if that’s how his ability is that good? is there any advice for me, what a good av used?

  • Shyam Sasindran

    To be honest for Windows 8 you really don’t need one since it has Windows Defender build-in. As for Windows 7 Microsoft Security Essentials would be a good choice. ESET is good so far I have used.

  • XssUs

    It works for me :) KAV after update disappear from AC. THX

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