Thursday, August 26, 2010

Got a Dell? Control Panel been crashing lately...? This might help...

I am a Dell supporter through and through - ask me to recommend a laptop and you can be pretty sure I will mention Dell somewhere in there...

Lately though, I came across a rather irritating little problem on some Dell machines with a built in wireless card.
What happens is that the Control Panel hangs when opened for the first time after you start up.
Sure you can always force it to close, Explorer restarts and all is well.
Still damn irritating...!

After quite a bit of head scratching and online scouting, I established that the culprit is a 3rd Party Control Panel component called "Dell Wireless Card Utility".
I was unable to find an update on the Dell site, so I took the plunge, went into Control Panel - Programs and removed the Dell Wireless Card Utility.

A brief panic then arrived, as the wireless network suddenly dropped when I removed the utility...
Ok I thought, just do a reboot and see what happens - thankfully Windows 7 is simply genius when it comes to device management.
As I logged back in, Windows 7 reported a new device and promptly reinstalled the wireless card. Voila!

A quick look at the Control Panel revealed that the "Dell Wireless Card Utility" was now gone, as was the irritating Control Panel crash!
So there you have it - hope this one works for you as well as it did for me.
Apparently the offending utility does not actually add any meaningful functionality to the system anyway - Windows 7 handles the WLAN card just fine.


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