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Phone and Modem Control Panel Cannot Be Opened. You May Have a Problem Starting Telephony Service.

I get this error message when I try to open the "Phone and Modem Options" from "Start -> Control Panel".  I also get this error when I try to add a modem device using Winfax Pro.   I have uninstalled and re-installed WinFax Pro with no effect.  I have checked the Symantec Support site but found no solution.  I went ahead and did the following procedures to try to fix the problem:

  1.  Start -> Run -> sfc /scannow (re-install windows dll's)
  2.  Checked all Windows "Services" to see if something had been "Stopped" or "Disabled".  I couldn't find anything related to communications or Modems.  There are a couple telephony items of which I am uncertain.
  3.  I've run Spybot, Adaware, and AVG system virus checker.  A couple minor "Viruses" were found and removed, but the problem persists.

The information on the web seems sparse when I search for "Phone and Modem Control Panel cannot be opened".  The post in Experts-Exchange suggests re-installing the WinFax Pro application.  This does not solve the problem.  I do not want to run the XP Repair Installation option except as a _last_ resort.   Suggestions appreciated.  Thank you.

System Details:
Windows XP SP2
Hayes External Modem (USB)

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1 Solution
Open up Windows Explorer, find the file telephon.cpl in the Windows\System32 folder (make sure the options for not hiding system files and showing hidden files are set in Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab), then double click it.  Does the Phone and Modem Options dialog box open up?  If not, the file is probably corrupt, and you can try replacing it:  go to Start -> Run, type MSCONFIG and click OK, click the button for Expand file.  Type in the name of the file  to replace in the File to Restore field, in the Restore From field, choose the option (probably the drive letter for your CD-ROM/DVD where you will place the WinXP installation CD), and type the name of the destination folder (Windows\System32) in the field for Save file in.  Then click the Expand button.
WizeOwlAuthor Commented:
I did as you suggested, rebooted in case that was needed (though I don't see why it would be for a file replacement).  I noticed that when I renamed the original file, a new one was created on it's own.  I expanded the file from my install CD from F:\I386\modem.cab -> C:\windows\system32.  I am still getting the error however.
>I noticed that when I renamed the original file, a new one was created on it's own.

I wonder if the Windows File Protection feature is automatically replacing with a damaged file from the DLL Cache?

Maybe you should try this instead:  you will need to use the Recovery Console, which is described in this MSKB article:

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console

(You need to make sure your primary boot device is the CD-ROM drive -- go into the BIOS to ensure this, if necessary), boot from the Windows XP installation CD-ROM, then use the EXPAND command, like this:

expand d:\i386\telephon.cp_ c:\windows\system32\telephon.cpl

(where d: is the drive of your CD-ROM)

Then type EXIT and when the pc reboots, you should be able to boot into XP and see if it works.
WizeOwlAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Lee.

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