Vista Control Panel Disappears and Can't Print

One of my colleagues had a very strange problem with her computer (Dell Optiplex 755 running Windows Vista). First of all, she found that she couldn’t print anything this morning, despite being able to print in the past. So, she called me over to see if I could figure out what was wrong. I tried to look at the printers that were installed, but when I clicked on the Control Panel, it showed up for a second and then disappeared.

I searched the internet for solutions to this problem and was given advice to reinstall the printer driver and deactivate Windows Firewall, but neither of these fixed the problem. Then, a page on the Microsoft Communities site gave me a solution that finally worked.

1) Launch services.msc from a run command
2) Find the SLUNotify service & stop it
3) Find the Software Licensing service & stop it (it may say that ReadyBoost needs that service to run; stop it anyway)
4) Restart both services, starting with Software Licensing

There is no need to restart the computer.

After doing this, clicking on the Control Panel made it pop up as usual and printing was restored. I am not sure if this is a permanent solution, but it seems to be working for now.

Feb 28 Update: It was not a permanent solution, unfortunately. However, someone in my office says that there should be a Vista update soon that sorts this out. Let’s hope!