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W2k3 RRAS NAT/Basic Firewall

By philefluxx ·
Hello,
I am attempting to get the RRAS Basic Firewall up and running. I currently have RRAS and NAT configured and it is up and running. I am new to this network and have been tasked with securing it. One of the things I have found is our gateway server which handles the NAT and DNS for the internal network does not not have the firewall enabled. This server also handles our VPN access to the core internal network.
The problem I keep running into is every time I try to configure or modify any settings in basic firewall it starts to block varies connections. This happens when the firewall is enabled or disabled. Ive attempted to go in and add my exceptions to the services and ports section before enabling the firewall, but it seems like every time I make a modification the entire office loses connection to Exchange, IM's such as MS Live Messenger, and any telnet or ssh connections currently established. But at the same time I can reach websites with no trouble and I can ping out with no trouble.
It concerns me that the firewall, even though it is disabled, seems to turn it self on and off several times after any modification has been made. Everyone in the office will continue to lose connection intermittently to the above app's/services for about 30 min after any changes are made. Again the firewall is disabled.
Can anyone explain to me what is happening? Unfortunately I have to work in a full production environment so trial and error is starting to become a problem for everyone else. Any help or insight is much appreciated.

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