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Thread: can't open control panel

  1. #1
    needs help Guest

    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.

  2. #2
    EW Guest

    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.


  3. #3
    Chad Harris Guest

    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;en-us;304449

    Good luck,

  4. #4
    Ramesh, MS-MVP Guest
    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.

  5. #5
    Lang Murphy Guest

    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.

  6. #6
    EW Guest

    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.....

  7. #7
    Lang Murphy Guest
    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.

  8. #8
    BarbLynne Guest

    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    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?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    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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