I do have XP prof SP 2.

Since a few weeks now the W.Firewall doesn't run. When I click the
reminder of the Security center it says:

We're sorry, the security center couln't turn on W. Firewall.
To try turning on the firewall yourself, go to W. Firewall in Control
Panel [...]

There W. Firewall says:

W. Firewall settings cannot be displayed because the associated service
is not running. Do you want to start the W. Firewall / Internet
Connection Sharing (ICS) service?
[ Yes ] <- Klicked on

Then it says:
W. cannot start the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service.

Running services.msc and right-clicking "W. Firewall / Internet
Connection Sharing (ICS) service" it says

Configuration Manager: The specified device instance handle does not
correspond to a present device.

I set the Startup Type of ICS from "disabled" to "automatic" but it
won't work

Trying to start the ICS from the Properties Window out of services.msc
it says:
Could not start the W. Firewall / ICS service on local comp.
Error 1058: The service cannot be started, either because or because it
has no enabled devices associated with it.

Could that mean in other words the same as the "device instance handle
does not correspond to a present device" above?
Could there be any other service not running that the ICS needs running
before itself can start?

I am at my wit's end.

Any ideas?