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Windows 7: Can't access various control panels

26 Jan 2010   #1
kev160967

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, SP1
 
 
Can't access various control panels

Hi,
I've just upgraded from vista ultimate, 64 bit, to windows 7 ultimate, 64 bit. I ran into an immediate problem because I'd not uninstalled the norton UAC utility. This manifested as anything requiring a UAC prompt giving me a signing error and not working. I then found the system wouldn't boot to safe mode (reset itself about 5 seconds after reaching login screen). Eventually I managed to fix this by booting from a CD and switching UAC off by editing the registry. Whilst hairy sounding, this all seemed to work, and most of the symptoms I was experiencing have gone.

Not everything is rosy though. Many of my control panel applets will not run. I select them from the control panel menu (or any other way, eg right click on desktop, select personalise) and absolutely nothing happens. Watching task manager doesn't even show a new process being created and destroyed. It looks as though standard windows control panels won't work, but third party ones will (eg, my anti-virus),

Does anyone have any suggestions on tracking this down? With the safe mode problem as well, I'll certainly be doing a full reinstall soon, but I couldn't afford the couple of days it would take to do this at the moment.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Kev


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jan 2010   #2
Tews

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Before you do a full reinstall, do a repair install and see if that takes care of your problem...

Repair Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #3
kev160967

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, SP1
 
 

Thanks,
Just had that suggested by a colleague as well, so I'm planning to fire it off tonight.

Kev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Jan 2010   #4
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

Not sure about a Repair install since you have already imported one of the worst infections a computer can have: Norton.

Agree is is worth a try, though.

If you don't recover full functionality and performance, then I would zero the HD before clean installing Win7. Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #5
kev160967

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, SP1
 
 

Well, repair install completed, but still no control panels. Anyone got any other suggestions? I've tried firing up a control panel from a command prompt on the off chance I might see an error message, but no joy. It seems interesting that third party control panels will work but not windows ones - at least that seems to imply that the mechanism for running control panels is intact and the problem is a configuration one. Anyone got any pointers to how control panels are implemented, how they interact with the desktop, etc?

Greg, wholeheartedly agree about Norton in general, but the UAC control did seem to work quite well and didn't interfere with the rest of my system (until I upgraded, that is ). A full reinstall is on the cards (that would have been my preferred migration path to win7 anyway), but just can't afford the disruption at the moment. The system works enough for me to do my job at the moment..

Kev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #6
ickymay

win7 ultimate / virtual box
 
 

I'm with greg on this one , remove norton and replace with a free AV like MSE ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #7
kev160967

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, SP1
 
 

To be clear, I'm not using a norton anti virus product, and never would. The norton product which I was using under vista was a free tool they released to improve UAC under vista. It could remember specific responses to UAC prompts and handle those specific prompts automatically in future. It worked well under vista but is not supported under Win7, and in fact screws up an upgrade. At this point I'm not entirely sure it has anything to do with my problem though. It's symptoms are fairly specific, and don't match what I'm currently experiencing

Kev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #8
ickymay

win7 ultimate / virtual box
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kev160967 View Post
To be clear, I'm not using a norton anti virus product, and never would. The norton product which I was using under vista was a free tool they released to improve UAC under vista. It could remember specific responses to UAC prompts and handle those specific prompts automatically in future. It worked well under vista but is not supported under Win7, and in fact screws up an upgrade. At this point I'm not entirely sure it has anything to do with my problem though. It's symptoms are fairly specific, and don't match what I'm currently experiencing

Kev
my bad

try these registry edits in this great tut by Brink
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #9
kev160967

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, SP1
 
 

Hurray!! (all be it tempered by a bit of )

Fixed it. I really should have remembered this right away. The problem is that I use directory opus and had the replace explorer setting turned on. The is because when I upgraded my home machine when the RTM was released last year I'd picked up on this in my pre-upgrade research, and taken care of it. In my defence, the hoops I had to jump through to fix up the norton FUBAR sent me off in completely the wrong direction. It was only when I ran procmon (sysinternals) and noticed directory opus firing up as a result of the control panel execution that is clicked.

Thanks all for the suggestions, and hopefully this might help someone else
Kev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't access various control panels




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