Free Firewall stopped working

Running Windows 7 Pro 32bit with all critical updates installed. CFW should have been I had to uninstall it.

Thurs afternoon I started Win7 in safe-mode - just to see if I remembered how to do it. Safe mode started but I did not login I shut it down instead.

Later when I restarted the PC after logging in I got the popup that Comodo could not be started (twice). Yes or No to diagnose. Clicking either did nothing except close the popup.

Network connection was down/blocked unable to connect to Internet.

Checking the services, Comodo cmdAgent was not starting - manual start resulted in error 1503. Windows event log was showing events 7000 and 7009.

Unfortunately my system restore points had vanished as they do sometimes for no reason that I can see.

Uninstalled Comodo FW and reinstalled it with the latest download. Installs fine and seems to be working until I restart the system then the same popups and service issues. Uninstalled and tried using an older install file from March/April. Same problem.

Uninstalled again and tried running the old cleanup tools, logged in the Administrator, edited the registry. There is an entry cmdagent in Service that cannot be accessed even after uninstalling and running the cleaner.

I tried installeding ZoneAlarm free - installs and works correctly but is too basic - no way to add filters. I tried PrivateFirewall but it seems the filters work inconsistently - even after removing a custom filter the behavior persists and it is difficult to undo some changes.

After uninstalling ZA and PF I thought maybe CFW would decide to work but alas after rebooting the same error trying to start cmdagent occurs.

So for the moment I’m using Windows Firewall. You can customize filters but even the high level default settings seems to leave too many vulnerabilities.

I’ve scanned my system with several anti-virus/malware packages and comes up clean.

Any idea what happened and better yet how to fix it?