Can't really say how or why it happened. I have a clean install of 7 build 7000 (or higher if the windows update, updates it). I went to my start menu, clicked on control panel, the window opened up with no icons, briefly. After closing, I tried it again to no avail. I then customized my start menu to show the control panel as a link. Clicking on it, the menu pops up and says: Empty. I've rebooted, etc and nothing has worked. Anything? I got an error that said: COM surrogate stopped working. Now I'm getting the same error doing this: right clicking on my computer and then clicking on properties. Pops up that error. What? AAAAAAND now its any of the clickies on the menu, ie, computer, control panel, etc I have no codecs installed, only a few games. I've tried to uninstall them all and even use system restore. Nothing works.