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Windows 7: Control panel won't populate (gives blank screen)

01 Mar 2013   #1
firstbuild

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Control panel won't populate (gives blank screen)

I hope someone can help with this because I haven't found any answers. I have already tried system restore and it didn't help. When I open Control Panel, I can only use it to perform one function (e.g. change theme, etc.) When I click to open Control Panel again, it gives me a blank screen. Even when I use the search box, it will not display anything in the window. The only way I can get the categories to reappear is to log off and log back on. Same thing happens, I navigate to an area, go back to the main page for Control Panel and it is blank again. Now many of my thumbnails are disappearing for my themes, movie and music folders, etc. Any help would be appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Mar 2013   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Welcome to the Seven Forums.

MalwareBytes is not considered a antivirus product. It is (as its name implies) for finding malware. If you have no antivirus product installed, the please install MSE for now. If you do have an antivirus tool installed, please uninstall it and use MSE while we are working on your issue,

After you get the antivirus issue sorted, please run this scan:
What is Windows Defender Offline?

And this scan:
SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2013   #3
firstbuild

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Will report back once it's all done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Mar 2013   #4
firstbuild

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

OK, you're scaring me. Why did that work? I ran the Microsoft Security Essentials and it didn't detect any problems. I ran Windows Defender Offline and no threats were detected. After I set the BIOS to boot from the hard drive again, once I logged into the computer ALL of my thumbnails EVERYWHERE repopulated and now my Control Panel works more than once. I changed the themes multiple times and my categories are still visible. Why did that work since MSE and Windows Defender Offline stated that no problems were detected? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2013   #5
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Glad that the two scans came up clean and that things seem normal now. I'm not sure why that worked.

Did you run the SFC scan? It too should come back clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2013   #6
firstbuild

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

I actually ran that scan based on what I'd been reading before I joined the forum. Since everything returned to normal, I didn't see a need to run it again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2013   #7
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

It is odd that installing MSE and running WDO would cure what you mention in the OP... and no, there is no need to run another SFC scan.

This is just going to be one of those things that we might never know why it happened or why it seems to be fixed.

Thx for posting back. I just wanted to make sure that you had a clean SFC scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #8
firstbuild

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Control Panel won't populate

Having the same problem again. Did an SFC scan which came up clean. Windows Defender Offline is not detecting any problems, nor is Microsoft Security Essentials. I am also no longer able to preview videos in my video folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #9
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I've seen threads about this before, but I don't recall the things to try.

You might be better off starting a new thread here:
General Discussion - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2018   #10
Ascaris

Windows 8.1 x64 Pro and Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 (dual boot)
 
 

This is a really old thread, but it may still come up when people search for this issue (as it did with me in this case). It turned out to be a faulty Windows theme! Once I set the theme back to the default Windows theme, the control panel once again populated and worked perfectly.

The personalize menu, being part of the Control Panel, did not work with the faulty theme installed, so using that to switch the theme back to default was not going to work. In my case, I have a theme editor I purchased a few years ago, so I was able to load the default Microsoft theme and hit the "test" button to instantly apply it, then (with everything working) go to Personalize and set the permanent theme back to Aero (default).

The error in the theme itself turned out to be that it wanted a font definition in a certain spot... once I added that, the faulty theme once again allowed Control Panel to work as intended.

This applies to Windows 8.1 as well, and probably also 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Control panel won't populate (gives blank screen)




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