Security Center not reporting Anti-virus or firewall status correctly

Windows Security Center uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to acquire information about the installed Anti-virus and Firewall applications, and their current status. In some cases, the Security Center may show outdated or misleading information due to problem in WMI repository. Here is a case where the Windows Vista Security Center reports incorrect information.

Fig 1: Security Center incorrectly reporting anti-virus/firewall info.

In the subject computer, the McAfee firewall was already uninstalled, but the Security Center still lists it. In some cases the Windows Vista Security Center may not detect installed Anti-Virus or firewall. (REF KB944175)

This occurs due to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) problems, but the fix is pretty simple! In Windows Vista, new command-line parameters are included for winmgmt.exe which help you automatically repair the WMI.

Note: If you’re using Windows XP and experiencing this problem, check Repairing and re-registering the WMI article for information on fixing WMI issues in Windows XP.


To repair the WMI repository in Windows Vista, use these steps:

Open an elevated Command Prompt. To open an elevated Command Prompt, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

Type the following command and press ENTER:

winmgmt /salvagerepository

If the command was successful, you should see the message WMI repository has been salvaged. Restart Windows and see if the Security Center issue is resolved.

Editor’s note: If you receive the error "WMI repository salvage failed" when running the above command, running the command the second time might help.

More Information

Running the winmgmt /salvagerepository command performs a consistency check on the WMI repository, and if an inconsistency is detected, rebuilds the repository. If you just want to check the WMI repository (without fixing it), use this command:

winmgmt /verifyrepository

You may get either WMI repository is consistent or WMI repository is INCONSISTENT in the output.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.