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Control Panel won't open in Windows XP


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#1
cls2831

cls2831

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When I try to open Control Panel I get an error message saying that Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We've had this problem going on for a while ... I tried to fix it a month ago but gave up (I ran Avira virus scan, Spyware Doctor, Windows Defender and Housecall, and tried a few other fixes I found online; no luck). Now the computer also seems to be slowing down a lot, and I need to get into Control Panel to clean up unused programs, manage the startup menu, etc. so I'm determined to get to the bottom of it this time. I hope you can help!
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#2
rselvy

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I'm wondering if you recently updated your Windows Xp with SP3? I am working on a computer with a clean install and I just encountered the same problem. I replicated it twice now so I'm certain it is something to do with the Windows Update. I am getting the Explorer Window that asks if you'd like to report the problem. I'm going to look in the MS Knowledgebase if I can't find any solutions here.

Can you please let me know if you have had any luck resolving this issue?
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#3
cls2831

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I just checked the Windows version, and it is SP3. I haven't had any luck resolving the problem yet ... I'm out of ideas, so I'm waiting for someone brilliant to give me some suggestions!
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#4
rselvy

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Ok well I just might have some good news for you! After many hours of reading and way too many looks at the registry I found and conquered the problem! I must be honest though, I was reading a post on this website that gave me a clue as to where to start looking.

First let me ask you to try booting in safe mode, in my case when loading in safe mode I was able to open the control panel. This was great news to me because that meant that the issue was more than likely a driver conflict issue.

The computer I was working on was a Dell Diminsion 4600 and the user had installed an NVidia graphics card. I was reading in a post earlier that a person with a similar issue had problems with driver conflicts in the registry. I looked and studied the registry way way too long until finally I just disabled the onboard graphics controller in the device manager and rebooted the computer in normal mode and the problem was resolved!

That being said I still did some intense research to see why and how that happened after installing SP3 on the computer. What I found was a combination of elements that caused the issue all of it related to SP3 attempting to call both video cards at the same time thus returning a null responce to the command which by default will terminate the request.

I'm hoping I'm not confusing you here but give your device manager a good look and make sure if you have onboard video on the system but you are using a separate video card, make sure you disable the onboard device. I'll bet it works.

Good luck and please let me know if this works for you. I did not get the name of the person that gave me the hint but I want to give MAJOR props to this web forum for letting me join and ultimately resolve a real brain burner issue. I have been working on computers for well over 20 years and this one truly stumped me for several hours.

Thanks again for all the great posts here!!!!

RSelvy :) :)
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#5
cls2831

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Okay, I'm posting a screen shot of my expanded device manager. I can't make heads or tails of the video drivers; I'm a novice at this stuff. I hope you can help figure it out. Thanks so much!

device_manager_scrnshot.JPG
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