How to remove the hidden control panel, etc from XP

Posted on 2011-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a customer whose Windows XP was horribly disabled by the last IT person, completely without her knowledge.  I can't see the control panel, plus most items from the standard start menu are simply gone.

Rather than  doing this piecemeal, is there a way I can return an account to the normal XP setup, which is what she really wanted?  Or must I track down every missing thing in the registry and remove the disable switch?
Question by:DaveWWW
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    Is this a standalone computer (or one that was/is connected to a domain)? Is she an administrator on this computer? I would try starting a brand new Windows (administrator) profile to see if the new profile will have all of what is typically defaulted to new users in XP.
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    If this is a standalone system, or if she is an Administrator then it doesn't make sense for features to be hidden.
    If so, perhaps maybe due to some nasties.

    Try running this tool to remove the hidden flags and see.
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Your best bet is to do what Yobri suggested. I would just remake a new one and If the problems come back look at your group policy  statting from the domain controller on down and check to see if the control panel is being disabled. Usually this is the case when the administrator does not want the end user changing what they have enacted for the network environment. Either do that approach or spend countless hours looking for reversals to policy's, registry entry's, drivers, and other products that are unknown to the user given this task to complete for that account. You will still need to dump the security policy's, currently running events, list of installed software, TCP/IP settings, so on. So you are aware about your current situation and can compile a report so you have a referrence for better understanding on how the network is currently being run. If you come to conclusion that there is breach in security you can then follow Rpggamergirl and run a full security sweep for rogue intrusions. Either way you need to get intimate with how it is setup and currently running. This cuts out many hours of IT frustration and not knowing what is going on internally as this allows you to pinpoint problems as it enable you give a passdown of information to anyone who needs to do work of any type on the network.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks, I did that and in fact just went with the new profile.  All is fine.

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