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can't open control panel

Vista Help

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Old 19-09-2007
needs help
Posts: n/a
can't open control panel

When I try to open the control panel the screen flashes, the wait icon
appears, and then thats it. Nothing actually opens. I also found recently
that windows update does the same thing. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 19-09-2007
Posts: n/a
Re: can't open control panel

Welcome to the club! First off, do you have a Dell? If so, many people
have had this, and the solution is unknown. Dell Tech (the clueless-club)
Support can't help. My problem showed up about 2 months after getting the
new Dell, stayed with me for about 6 weeks, then went away, and it's been
good for months now.

Along with the Control Panel fiasco, you probably can't play several
installed MS games, use the Aero Flip feature, and other small items.

Keep us posted on your findings. I'm not sure, but even the Event Viewer
doesn't show anything amiss.

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Old 19-09-2007
Chad Harris
Posts: n/a
Re: can't open control panel

Hi needs help and EW--

This is not a Dell problem. This happens frequently in Vista and can be
fixed quickly.

If it doesn't, follow these directions:

Have you tried System Restore? F8 gives you more options for SR via safe
mode. If SFC doesn't fix this, and you have a Vista CD you can try startup
repair (fixes many things besides the inability to boot Vista):

***SFC as a Remedy***:

SFC or System File Checker is a bit like the spare tire in your car or a
backup battery I suppose. In Vista of course, they have changed it somewhat
and come up with a new name--Redmond stands for name it something different
twice a year and now it's part of WRP or Windows Resource Protection. It
scans protected resources including thousands of files, libraries, critical
folders, and essential registry keys, and it replaces those that are
corrupted with intact ones. It fixes a lot of problems in Windows XP, OE,
Windows Vista, Win Mail, IE6, and on Vista or if it is installed on XP, IE7.
It protects these things from changes by any source including
administrators, by keeping a spare of most of them.

How to Run SFC:

Type "cmd" into the Search box above the Start Button>and when cmd comes up
at the top of the Start menu>right click cmd and click "run as Admin" and
when the cmd prompt comes up at the cmd prompt type "sfc /scannow" no quotes
and let it run. This may fix things quite a bit. It replaces corrupt files
with intact ones, if you're not familiar with it.

***Startup Repair from the Vista DVD***

How to Use The Vista DVD to Repair Vista (Startup Repair is misnamed by the
Win RE team and it can be used to fix many Vista components even when you
***can boot to Vista):

If you elect to run Startup repair from the Vista DVD (it can fix major
components in Vista--I've verified this many many times; it's good for more
than startup problems, and the Win RE team simply screwed up when they named
it not understanding its full functionality):

Startup Repair will look like this when you put in the Vista DVD:

You run the startup repair tool this way (and system restore from here is
also sometimes effective):


That will allow you to go to the Vista setup that has a Repair link on
thelower left corner>click it and then you'll see a gray backgrounded list
and I want you to click Startup Repair from it and follow the directions.

The gray screen after you click the first link in the above pic will look
like this:

Click Startup Repair, the link at the top and after it scans>click OK and
let it try to repair Vista. It will tell you if it does, and if it
doesn't, try System Restore from the Recovery Link on the DVD. If these
don't work booting into Safe Mode by tapping the F8 key and using System
Restore from one of the safe modes besides VGA may work. That means you
have the option to try 4 different safe modes to get to system restore, (one
from the Recovery link on the DVD) and sometimes one will work when the
others won't.

You could also try a Repair Install with Vista which is done exactly the
same way as in XP:

***Repair Install Steps*** (can be used for Vista) MVP Doug Knox

***Using the F8 Environment***

***Taking Full Advantage of the F8 Options (Windows Advanced Options Menu)
by starting the PC and tapping F8 once per second when the firmware screen
with the pc manufacturer's name shows a few seconds after restarting***:

The F8 options in Vista are the same as XP, and the link for Safe Mode Boot
options is labled XP by MSFT but they are the same for Vista (they haven't
updated to add Vista to the title as they have with several MSKBs that apply
to both).

Again, pressing F8 repeatedly when you seem the firmware screen may be is a
generic way to launch Windows RE on some OEM Vista computers.

You could also:

Think: I have 4 different ways to get back my XP at F8 and try 'em in order.
1) Safe Mode 2) Safe Mode with Cmd to Sys Restore which is simply a cmd
prompt in safe mode 3) Safe Mode with Neworking 4) LKG or Last Known Good

Try to F8 to the Windows Adv Options Menu>try 3 safe modes there (I don't
use WGA) and Last Known Good>then I go to Win RE in Vista. That gives you a
choice of Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking,and Safe Mode with Command

These methods are outlined in

A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP/and Vista

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding System Restore from MSFT:


System Restore can be run from the Win RE recovery environment from the same
link as Startup Repair, and sometimes it will work from one F8 safe mode
location or from the Win Recovery Environment when it won't work from other

How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP


Good luck,
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Old 19-09-2007
Ramesh, MS-MVP
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the link, Ramesh. I "looks" like a relevant solution to the
problem, but in my experience, I didn't have the "error message" on startup
nor the Nero installation it referred to for the fix. But if it ever
happens again, I'll use the hotfix just for luck! Thanks again.
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Old 19-09-2007
Lang Murphy
Posts: n/a
Re: can't open control panel

Are you seeing these problems on OEM seats? Meaning Dell installed the OS
and then shipped the product? I ask because I've installed Vista Ulitmate
"clean" on 5 different Dell platforms without experiencing those problems.
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Old 20-09-2007
Posts: n/a
Re: can't open control panel

Lang, this problem is indeed on (some?) Dell OEM products and it's highly
intermittent. But since my system is clean now I can't give any further
info on current actions I might be taking. Uh, perhaps if the original
message poster would come back and say something.....
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Old 23-09-2007
Lang Murphy
Posts: n/a
Ah... gotta love (hate?) those stoopid intermittent problems. Very hard to
TS. Doesn't look like the op is going to resurface. Oh, well...
It does not help that when trying to troubleshoot intermittent
problems the number one requirement is keep _everything else_ the
same. These days the autonomic response is to start changing stuff,
in hope of a change. Worse, no logging of changes, just keep
fiddling. Many computer users are their own worst enemy.
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Old 15-10-2007
Posts: n/a
Re: can't open control panel

Hi the KB/936686 only works if you had the nero cd problem.

Try this: Type "solution control panel" in Windows Vista General Discussion.
I posted a solution, (not a fix). Hope it helps.
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Old 16-07-2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1
When I open it a window appears that says the windows explorer has stopped working.

I am having the same issue .Any help out there?
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Old 06-03-2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Re: can't open control panel

How to Run SFC:

Type "cmd" into the Search box above the Start Button>and when cmd comes up
at the top of the Start menu>right click cmd and click "run as Admin" and
when the cmd prompt comes up at the cmd prompt type "sfc /scannow" no quotes
and let it run. This may fix things quite a bit. It replaces corrupt files
with intact ones, if you're not familiar with it.

Using this from above, after going through its scan i am getting

Windows resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them
Any idea how to fix thes files
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