This may have something to do with the icons displayed in the lower right-hand corner. (The system tray?) I thought my avira was infected, as the firewall icon would often disappear after initially appearing, or didn't seem to appear at all.
The system tray had been changed a few months earlier, so that some of the icons will not display unless the double arrow to the left is clicked on to reveal the rest of the icons. Also, task manager no longer displays some legitimate flags and menu pop-ups so that you may turn them off to open up space on the system tray.
Windows has made further changes that seem to be limiting how many system icons can be displayed.
Your avira may still be infected (I uninstalled and re-installed mine to be sure), but your firewall was probably not disabled so often as it appeared. You would have to check your logs.
This is very low-tech, but when people are multi-tasking on their computer, they often focus on whether an icon is visible, or what's appearing in the task manager.
What process does the firewall show as in the task manager, anyway? (Sorry for my ignorance--sheepish!)
P.S.: There is a new posting in windows xp about problems with desktop icons (also applies to system tray). It looks like my avira firewall icon has somehow been replaced with the windows "no firewall on security alert" at least for part of the time, because that is how it appears in the icon menu when you right click on the desktop.http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...t&p=1119080
Edited by fuzzywuzzy6, 02 February 2009 - 11:08 PM.