Computer Management function does not work in Windows XP

By dwillard ยท 7 replies
Mar 15, 2011
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  1. I cannot get to the tools in the Control Panel Computer Management function of Windows XP on my laptop.

    There is no error message when I click on the computer management icon ---just a momentary "busy" symbol on the mouse pointer, then nothing.

    I would much appreciate any insight into how I can either repair or replace the file(s) involved.


  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I appreciate you do not receive an error message but it may still be worth trying the fix in this guide from microsoft.

    If that does not work then run the system file checker, you will require your Windows XP disc to be in the CD drive when asked for it.

    Click on Start, then type sfc /scannow (include the gap) into the search box and hit Enter. Follow the prompts and let the test complete taking note of any errors it reports.

    Is this your own PC, has it come from a work inviroment, has this problem only just started, if so have you changed anything.

    Another fix would be to use System Restore to go back before the problem started, follow this guide.

    There are other options if this does not work. What service pack have you got on the PC and what service pack is included on your Windows disc?
  3. dwillard

    dwillard TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28


    Thanks for your insight.

    To answer your questions, this is my own computer. I'm not sure when the problem began as I upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Pro sometime in the past few months and do not use this computer very much.

    Quite frankly, I do not know for a fact that the Computer Management function has ever worked correctly since I upgraded. I would therefore have no idea as to where I would need to go back to find a System Restore point before the problem started.

    The Windows XP install disk is SP 2, and the computer currently is running SP 3. My desktop workstation also has an installation of Windows XP from the same install disk and the computer management function works fine on the workstation.

    I'll work thru your list of possible fixes over the next few days, the let you know how it has all turned out.

  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I am hopeful that sfc /scannow will fix this problem for you but there is a hitch. Your OS disc is SP2 and the installation is SP3. Now, when you run sfc /scannow it will probably ask for the disc which is different to the installation resulting in an error and the process will stop.

    The best thing to do is to integrate the XP SP2 disc with SP3. You can then use this disc for sfc /scannow and repair installs which would otherwise not work and in the case of a repair installation you will also avoid additional problems with Internet Explorer. The service pack levels have different versions of Internet Explorer integrated into them.

    Follow this guide to integrate SP3 into a new copy of your Windows XP disc.
  5. dwillard

    dwillard TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28


    As it happened, the laptop was finishing the sfc scan when I received an e-mail message notifying me of your reply here on Techspot. I waited for the laptop to finish the scan, shut it down for a few minutes, then restarted it.

    Once Win XPP was fully opened up, I tried to get into Computer Management.

    I opened up Computer Management just fine. The scan worked! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I now have the laptop running defragmentation of the drives. Seems to be going well.

    Let me add that I did spend a lot of time sitting by the laptop as it when thru the sfc scan process and did get a lot of messages, "wrong disk in CD drive"; "no disk in CD drive"; "disk in CD drive is not formatted"; and perhaps a few other variations.

    When these came along, I opened the CD tray, then closed it to get the install CD rotating., then clicked "Try again" on the error message.

    It worked for me. Can't say that it will work for everyone, but this time, anyway, it did work for me. Next time around, I might have to use your disk integration procedure to make things work.

    Again, thank you. I stand in awe of your depth of knowledge.

  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    That sounds great but, is Internet Explorer still working? If you were still running IE6 it should still be OK. You should also check that you get it back up to SP3 as it may have changed back to SP2, just switch on auto update and it should be do it all automatically.
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    As a passing comment, I would say there is nothing in the XP computer management applet that cannot be done better with free download software.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    don't forget ; right-click My Computer->Manage is the same as CP->admin tools
    (when running from an Admin account).

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