Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) (SharedAccess) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Provides network address translation, addressing, name resolution and/or intrusion prevention services for a home or small office network.

Default Settings

Startup type:
Windows XP HomeManual
Windows XP ProfessionalManual
Windows XP Home SP1Manual
Windows XP Professional SP1Manual
Windows XP Home SP2Automatic
Windows XP Professional SP2Automatic
Windows XP Home SP3Automatic
Windows XP Professional SP3Automatic
Display name:Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
Service name:SharedAccess
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Path:%SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess

Default Behavior

Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a Win32 service. It won't start until the current user starts it in Windows XP Home, Professional, Home SP1, Professional SP1. This service is starting automatically along with the operating system in Windows XP Home SP2, Professional SP2, Home SP3, Professional SP3. When the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the SharedAccess service has failed to start.


Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) depends on the following system components:

Restore Default Startup Configuration for Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

1. Select your Windows XP edition and service pack, and then click Download.

2. Save the WinXP_SharedAccess_Service_Startup.cmd file to a local storage device.

3. Run the saved file.

4. Restart the computer.

The SharedAccess service is using the ipnathlp.dll file that is located in the %WinDir%\System32 folder. If the file is changed, damaged or deleted, you can restore its original version from Windows XP installation media.