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?