[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today


Unknow Enrtry/icon at top of Control Panel window (when switched to Classic view)

Posted on 2008-01-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Dear Madame, Dear Sir,

Recently, we have remarked an unknown file/icon appeared at
top of Control Panel exploring window (when set on Classic view).

This entry/icon, when clicking on it, doses nothing.
When we create a shortcut of it, to find out some more info about, under Properties there is no indication and no target.
When we switch back the Control Panel window to Category view, we can no more
find this items (under none of categories). Back to Classic view, it is still there.
I had a look also at C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory to check *.cpl files. Nothing relevant! I count 30 *.cpl files. Under Control Panel window, we count 45 entries/icons, plus the unknown one (in classic view). But I suppose, there is also other type of Control Panel items than *.cpl files, located in other part of system. So, I can not detect if is there an abnormal number of Control Panel files:

My questions:

01. Generally speaking, how to add to or remove, manually, items form Control  Panel?
02. Is there any utility to Scan Integrity of my Control Panel module?
03. How to remove the unknown icon
04. How to trace back to find out which software has "installed" this entry?
    (should we then uninstall that faulty software)
05. Is there any Repair Option using Windows XP Installation CD?
    If yes and I use it, would we risk to loose all progressive updates of  Windows XP.
06. What are other files extension than *.cpl appearing under Control Panel  window?

Attached, I send a PDF file including:

- screenshot of Control Panel window (in Classic view).
- screenshots of C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory content

In advance, we deeply appreciate your help and expertise.

Yours truly,
Lausanne - Switzerland
Question by:Mr_HATEFI_Keyvan
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • +1

Expert Comment

ID: 20794620
1. Get "ShellObjectEditor" and check out this page:
2. See #1
3. See #1
4. If you check the registry, maybe a clue there... (see link above for reg key)
5. I don't think so, and won't need one
6. Control Panel icons appear from CPL files and NameSpace in registry

Hope this helps you out =). Please post back with results.
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 20796521
Well answered MotoCrazy....  


Expert Comment

ID: 20796965
Never miss a deadline with monday.com

The revolutionary project management tool is here!   Plan visually with a single glance and make sure your projects get done.


Author Comment

ID: 20808611
Thank you for the response, but it did not work.

As you see in pdf files, there is no text and no function for that item of control panel. So, the solution of shellObjeditor doesn't work. Please explain it more clearly, maybe we havn't understood how it works.

the cpl files of mentioned paths in registry in HKCU do not exist. In HKLM there are some entries for cpl and dll files and all have values. They are related to either microsoft updates or the existing items in control panel.

In registry we have the inetcpl.cpl one level below other cpl files. It's a flder named inetcpl.cpl..however the item "internet options" exists in control panel list. Is there sth abnormal here?

Is there anywhere else we can look for this known item in control panel?


Author Comment

ID: 20809233
Thank you again,
Major questions remain open for Experts:

01. Generally speaking, how to add to or remove, manually, items form Control  Panel?
02. Is there any utility to Scan Integrity of my Control Panel module including the items appare inside
      control panel menu (in Classic view mode)?


Expert Comment

ID: 20809249
Download TweakUI from Microsoft:

Start the program and choose Control Panel on the left side. You should see a list of all Control Panel icons on the right side with a description of what they are. You should be able to see what the culprit is from here.

Author Comment

ID: 20810990
Thank you and appreciate your help:

I had already Installed TweakUI. It did not show any thing abnormal in the list you are talking about.

To clarify again:

01. Do you know which object collects all "Control Panel files (*.cpl) and NameSpaces" entries and lists
      them in Control menu (at Start Menu)?
02. Is it an object or a location in registry, or a sub-key in registry or, ...etc. ?
      If one could find a way to access to that "list",  I would be able to find probably the corrupted icon
     and  trace it back to find the origin of culprit item.

In the article published by [WindowsXp.mvps.org], the author talks about 4 major locations in registry:

A) HKEY_Current_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Control Panel
B) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Control Panel
C) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel
D) HKEY_Current_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel

As I explianed in poste ID: 20808611, A) and D) do not exist in my case. For B) and C) I made a
copy of those branches (I made an Export by Registry Editor) but I can not attche them to this poste.
If sombody could have a look, would be there somthing "abnomal". I have no idea the correctness of details, entities or values. How do you suggest to proceed?

Thank you again


Expert Comment

ID: 20811726
The solution at WindowsXP.mvps.org has always been reported as the best solution for this, and TweakUI should also show everything needed. If these two resources cannot resolve your issue, I unfortunately have to say I can not offer any more assistance. You must have one strange issue going on.

Sorry, wish I could have helped you solve this
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 20812211
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2

Thats the hive that gets enumerated...

Can you paste it into the code snippet, from the .reg file?

Author Comment

ID: 20812816
Yes sure, here is a snapshop of it.
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 20817506
OK... You have 32 entries there in the reg key, but how many are in the Contro Panel? Hopefully 32, and not 33......

Upon closer inspection, I would look at removing the c:\windows\system32\\tpshcpl.cpl

Notice the multiple "\\"s...... The valid opne is the last in the list....

Author Comment

ID: 20838435
Thank you for your tips:

01. \\  (double back slash) is only a windows Scripte Language Syntax. It is like a search directive.
      It means from subfolder, i.g.   \system32,    go to all subfolders located below   \system32   and look
      for item,  i.g., tpshcpl.cpl.
02. So, there is nothing wrong with that. Please check also your PC Registry and you will find many
      other  keys with this search directive.
03. otherwise checking the number of 32 key is not relevant; as in Control Panel Menu you have (at
      least)  3 types of  entries (icons):

      AA)  *.cpl   files located at [System32 ] folder.
      BB)  *.cpl. files located at [Program Files] folder and subfolders.
      CC)  NameSpaces icons (for example [Printer & faxes] or [Add or Remove Programs], etc., ...)

     Consequently the number of displayed items in Control Panle is greater than the number of *.cpl keys.
      For example, in my case there is:

     - 46 entries (icons) in Control Panel + one which is invalide --> Total of 47 icons

04. So, my question again; how could I check from where is comming the invalide one?
05. Or better to say; how the items are displayed in Control Panel menu. If I understand the
      principal, then I could trace back and identify all items under 03.AA), 03.BB) and 03.CC)?
     Then by deduction I will be able to identify culprit file.
06. So, the only way to check it out, would be to know where and how the whole Control Panel
      Menu is "listed" and "Displayed" to users?

Could a Microsoft Guy help me?
Appreciate in advance your help.

LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 20840653

Try this method:

Right-click on the unknown Control Panel entry, and choose "Create shortcut". Click "Yes" when you see this prompt:
Windows cannot create a shortcut here.

Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead?

Open Notepad. From the File menu, click "Open" and select "All files" under "Files of type" dropdown box. Open the control panel shortcut file (Example: "Shortcut to Add or Remove Programs.lnk") usng Notepad.

See if there any references a .CPL file inside the shortcut file contents.

Author Comment

ID: 20843340
Dear Sramesh2k,

You leaned me very interesting tip. Opening the Short-cut with NotePad!  I would never have such
idea or try it. And, besides, it worked:
This is the text I discovered inside (between brakets):
[ ... L        À      F             
      V  PàOÐ ê:i¢Ø +00 .  
      ì!ê:i¢Ý +00,        
      C:\WINDOWS\system32\btcpl.cpl  ... ]

The Shortcut seems to be from Bluetooth Control Panel file. Actually, it is long time that I have not
used the "My Bluetooth Places" shortcut (on Desktop or at "My Computer" menu).
Clicking on it now, it is not responding. So, I suppose all problem is comming from btcpl.cpl.

OK; one last step:
Would you please give me some indications how to re-delpoy this Control Panel (btcpl.cpl) and rebuilt correctly Registry?
Is there a Microsoft KB on Re-deployment or Re-installation of a dammaged, missing or corrupted Control Panel?

Thank you again for your help
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 20848191

A Google search suggests that btcpl.cpl is a third-party module (from Broadcom Corporation.)


Perhaps you have a third-part bluetooth driver installed?

Author Comment

ID: 20890585
Hi Sramesh,

Thanks. I will check it out and come back to you asap.


Accepted Solution

Mr_HATEFI_Keyvan earned 0 total points
ID: 20917513
The Final and most convenient solution that I experienced:

01. If you discover an unknown and corrupted icon inside the Control
    Panel, first check out the unknown Icon origin by making a Shortcut on
    Desktop and then open the shortcut by NotePad.
    The discovered indications tell you the origin, or at least
    the name of culprit file.

02. In My case it was "btcpl.cpl".
    (No need to manipulate the System32 folder items to remove
     the culprit file. But follow below method.)

03. This Control Panel is developed by Broadcom Corporation. The Download:

04. Documentation "UsrGuide.PDF" : Should be under:

05. My Laptop, IBM ThinkPad T60p, had been delivered with Broadcom
    package already installed: Among different items, the package was
    including particularly:

    A) Installation of btcpl.cpl: "Bluetooth Configuration" control Panel
    B) Installation of "My Bluetooth Place" Icon under "My Computer" or
    C) ... etc., ...
    The Laptop is equipped with an integrated Bluetooth device.

06. For an unknown reason, both of above items, A) and B),
    had been corrupted. I had to re-install the Package.

07. Besides, for ThinkPad T60p, the wireless On-Off button, located in
    front edge of Laptop, is also controlling the integrated
    Bluetooth Device.

08. So, when you want to re-install the Package under 05, do not
    forget to switch first the  On-Off button to On position.

Un-install and Re-install steps:

08. I Turned on the internal Wireless/Bluetooth Device.

09. I made a clean boot and disabled Firewall and Anti-virus software.

10. Then, I un-installed first the ThinkPad pre-installed packaged named:
    "ThinkPad Bluetooth with Enhanced Data Rate Software".
    I used for that the ThinkVantage module called "Software Installer".

11. After that, the unknown icon under Control Panel was finally
    removed. ooooofffffffff!

12. Then I restarted.

13. By using the same ThinkVantage "Software Installer",
    I re-installed again the
    "ThinkPad Bluetooth with Enhanced Data Rate Software".

14. Thus, I got back the Control Panel item:
      - "Bluetooth Configuration" (btcpl.cpl)

15. And the My Computer item:
      - "My Bluetooth Place"

As Final recommendation: Avoid manipulating directly the System32
Folder or Registry. You will loose lot of time with Zero result.
In most of cases the *.cpl files are associated with other dll
or system files and only deleting *.cpl dose not help you to solve
the problem. You should find rather the Package which re-installs you the
corrupted *.cpl file.

Some Reference notices that I used and I experienced before
arriving to above conclusions:

- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/86023
- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/149648
- http://forums.2cpu.com/archive/index.php/t-4950.html
- http://windowsxp.mvps.org/cpicon.htm
- http://www.internetsecurityZone.com/Entities/? Broadcom+Corporation
- Download and info for "Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP".
  Search by Google and you will find it.
- Download for "Shell Object Editor".
  Search by Google and you  will find it.
- Do Google search also for:
  "Launching Control Panel Apps from the Command Line".
  Good tips and compl. info!
- http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/ctrlpanel.html

Good luck and thanks to everybody

Featured Post

Never miss a deadline with monday.com

The revolutionary project management tool is here!   Plan visually with a single glance and make sure your projects get done.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In real business world data are crucial and sometimes data are shared among different information systems. Hence, an agreeable file transfer protocol need to be established.
This article provides a convenient collection of links to Microsoft provided Security Patches for operating systems that have reached their End of Life support cycle. Included operating systems covered by this article are Windows XP,  Windows Server…
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…

591 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question