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Win XP can't open Control Panel

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by guy99999, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. guy99999

    guy99999 Thread Starter

    Apr 7, 2008
    My wife's computer (3 yr old Dell low end Laptop) is exhibiting all kinds of strangeness and I am at a loss for how to sort it out. Here is a list of known events

    Her computer was acting odd with McAfee using lots of CPU. She'd been having a lot a trouble with it and she was stuck in some kind of loop where it would tell her it was out of date but then when she told it to update it would say there were no updates available.

    So I bought a copy of Norton AV and Webroot Spy Sweeper. I ran scans with Spybot Search and Destroy and AdAware, found and deleted some tracking cookies. I then used Devo to remove the the McAfee stuff and installed NortonAV and SpySweeper. Ran full scans. Found and deleted some tracking cookies.

    Yesterday she tried to install an Opera update, she got a message that the Windows installer service was not active and that this meant that it either couldn't find the service or it wasn't installed correctly. I told her to bring up Control Panel and look at Services to check the status of the installer.

    As soon as she tried to open Control Panel, the machine became unresponsive.

    I have fooled around with it since and determined that once this happens you can alt-tab between application that were running and that they appeared to work normally.

    How should I proceed to figure this out?
  2. kniht


    May 7, 2006
    I don't use Norton AV myself but have heard of a lot of folks having issues with it, although it is a good AV. Try disabling Norton and see if you can open the Control Panel.

    You can also get to services by clicking on Start>>Run.

    In Run type "services.msc" without the quotes, and click OK.

    In services look for Windows installer and be sure it is set to either automatic or manual and the service is started.

    Whenever I install anything on my system I always disable my antivirus (NOD32) and my firewall (Commodo). These items have a tendency to interfere with installations.
  3. guy99999

    guy99999 Thread Starter

    Apr 7, 2008
    Short version. Everything seems to be working OK. BUT I didn't change anything. Last night trying to execute either Control Panel or Explorer would fail and the task bar would be dead. You could alt-tab between applications that were already running and they worked fine.

    This morning Control Panel and Explorer work and everything seems normal. Installed Opera with the classic installer and it installed fine.

    I'm baffled.
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