Here’s a tip. Occasionally you may find that the Windows Control Panel will not open, or it may open and then close immediatly. Usually, the solution is simple. Windows stores the control panel icons as individual files with a .cpl file extension. These files are located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Do a quick search for *.cpl files and you will see names such as the following:
This is the standard set of control panel icons for Windows Vista. However, many software applications will also install a control panel icon so you may see files that aren’t listed here. If so, those are the ones to focus on first. Try renaming them one by one, until you figure out which one is causing the problem. For example, Firebird is known to cause this problem, so if you see a file called Firebird.cpl, try renaming it to Firebird.cpl.old and then try opening Control Panel. If it works, then you’ve found the culprit. If not, rename it back and try renaming a different file. Once you’ve pinned it down, either reinstall the program it’s associated with, or just leave the file renamed and you’re all set!