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Unable to Launch Control Panel

Posted on 2011-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
A customer's computer had a variety of problems - not booting, viruses, Generic Host Process failures to name a few.

I managed to get the machine to boot, and I was able to run Malwarebytes and Combofix to take care of the malware, but I was still getting crashes, especially with Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Update.

I used a slipsteamed XP Professional disk (the OS on that machine) to do a repair installation.  I got past the Internet Explorer 6 vs 8 problem, but now when I attempt to open Control Panel, The MS Installer appears and tries to install HP Smart Web Printing. then gets to a point where it is asking for the installation CD  The installer does the same thing if I try to launch Internet Explorer.  It is not possible to close the Installer if I try to launch Control Panel.  If I try to launch IE, the only way to close the Installer is to terminate the iexplore process in Task Manager.  I have not done an exhaustive test, but the few other applications that I tried appear to be OK.

I used a registry fix for registering EXE files to launch correctly, and Control Panel and IE launched properly until I rebooted, then I was back where I started.

I reset IE to run as originally installed.  That did not help.

I have tried reinstalling a downloaded copy of HP Smart Web Printing (the HP printer disk is among many that the customer no longer has) without success.

What do I have to do to get Control Panel and Internet Explorer to behave?
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Question by:rhavey
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5 Comments
 
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 36533539
Control Panel is basic. On the two occasions I serviced machines with no Control Panel, the only solution was to start again. A reinstall of Windows cleared up all the issues. ... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:AntonInf
ID: 36533552
I found this issue when the virus or malware ... posing as internet security was loaded.

once I removed this, it fixed all the issues....

Its a common problems once this fake internet security is loaded..

But failing that re-install would be the quickest to get up and running...
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Accepted Solution

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marcustech earned 2000 total points
ID: 36535506
I used a registry fix for registering EXE files to launch correctly, and Control Panel and IE launched properly until I rebooted, then I was back where I started.

This kind of implies that the malware hasn't been removed...  In fact, if that registry section gets borked on reboot then you definitely have not removed the malware.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rhavey
ID: 36554837
I'm sorry, I must have missed the submit button or something.  I thought I had closed this question a few days ago.

Thank you for marcustech pointing out what I should have realized in the first place.  Malwarebytes and Combofix appeared to run clean, but Kaspersky's Rescue CD found several problems - viruses, trojans, a rootkit.

The computer now functions properly.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:marcustech
ID: 36555304
Glad you got it fixed.  I know how it is when you think you've cleaned it but it still doesn't play ball...
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