No "Programs and Features" or "Add/Remove Programs"

Posted on 2008-11-06
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am logged in as an administrator and cannot locate "Programs and Features" or "Add/Remove Programs" in Vista.

Even if I goto help, Programs & Features and click on the link that is supposed to launch that window... nothing happens.
Question by:gensoc
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    Could be that the file Appwiz.cpl is corrupt; it should be in your \Windows\System32 folder.  Double click on it if it's there to see if it loads up Programs and Features.  If not, but it IS there, then right click on it, select Properties, go to the Previous Versions tab and see if there is an earlier version that can be restore.

    If it is not there:  you can try copying it from another Vista pc, doing a System Restore to see if it comes back, or running the System File Checker in a Command Prompt windows after selecting Run as Administrator:


    Author Comment

    I copied the file from another vista pc and now it is saying i need permission to replace that file.
    I am logged in as an administrator
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    How are you copying it, from Windows Explorer, or from a Command Prompt COPY command, and what is the source of the copy (floppy disk, USB flash drive, other)?

    I think you should be able to do it via a DOS Copy command from some removable media if you start the Command Prompt by right clicking on the shortcut (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt) and selecting Run as Administrator.  If not, you might need to do it by booting from the Windows DVD, selecting Repair your computer, then going to a Command Prompt in the Windows Recovery Environment:
    How to use the Command Prompt in the Vista Windows Recovery Environment

    Author Comment

    I can copy it to the System32 directory, but unable to rename the old appwiz.cpl to somthing different or remove it.
    LVL 59

    Accepted Solution

    Maybe you can do it by turning User Account Control off?  To do so,  open Control Panel, click User Account and Family settings, click the option for Add or remove user account, select a user account and click Go to the main User Account page, click Change security settings, click to remove the check mark next to Turn on User Account Control (UAC) to make your computer more secure, click OK and restart the computer.    

    Or if that doesn't do it, try enabling the "real" Administrator account and logging into it.
    How to Activate the Hidden Vista Administrator

    the "real administrator account" is disabled by default so you have to enable it:-

    Press [Windows Key] + [r] to enable the RUN option
    enter LUSRMGR.MSC (the local user accounts manager)
    Accept the UAC warning and continue
    Double-click USERS
    Double-click ADMINISTRATOR

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