Article ID 20040205A
Subject Control Panel Access Denied Error
Concept Fix Access Denied errors in the Control Panel
OS Windows 98(SE)

Standard Disclaimer: If this procedure screws up your computer more than it is already, I take no responsibility whatsoever. I am just documenting the fix that worked for me.

I have run into this problem on customer machines a couple of times within the past month and decided to document the fix I found doing a google search. Apparently caused by Spy-ware/Ad-ware, users will start experiencing a multitude of problems, most noticeable is "Access Denied" errors when trying to access the Windows 98 Control Panel. I have also heard that attempting to delete programs/directories from explorer will also result in "Access Denied" errors.

The fix is not too terrible or difficult. The first step is to download a Spy-ware/Ad-ware removal tool. If you not sure of what you are doing, I would suggest starting with LavaSoft's Ad-aware. If you are sure what you are doing, I would then point you to SpyBot Search & Destroy. Both are excellent tools for removing spy and adware. Install and run the program you downloaded and clean your system up. Please note that some programs (Kazaa comes to mind) depend on the spyware to run and once you remove the spyware portion of the software, the rest of the program will not function.

The next step is to replace to system programs that cause the "Access Denied" errors. It seems the offending spyware tries to patch two files, CONTROL.EXE and RUNDLL32.EXE, and fails, rendering them useless. So what you need to do is copy these files from another functioning Windows 98 machine or if you trust me, you can download them using the links below. Copy the files to c:\windows and reboot the computer. If all goes well, you should now be able to access the Windows Control Panel without error.

CONTROL.EXE MD5 (CONTROL.EXE) = 2bb1cf2ea0f68c83d5d74c99504ff935
RUNDLL32.EXE MD5 (RUNDLL32.EXE) = 3857d93aa630abbd63467db4aeffce2c

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