First, confirm that you don't have spyware on the machine by downloading, installing, updating, then running a full system scan using the free AVG Antispyware removal tool from the link below:
Ewido/AVG Antispyware 7.5 Tool
Next, click the Vista Start button, and where it says start search, type "cmd",then enter. In the dialog box type "services.msc", then press the "enter" key. Scroll to and highlight "Software Licencing" service and click "restart" in the upper left corner. Next,click on the "Recovery" tab at the top and in the "First Failure" line, change it to "Restart the service", then click on "apply", OK, etc. Then highlight "SL UI Notification Service" and click "start" in the Service Status line. You may also choose to reset the "REcovery" tab like the other service mentioned.
If the above steps don't fix it, then please note that others are having the same problem with improper drivers are installed. Try updating your video and audio drivers and if you've got a third party firewall installed, make sure to turn OFF the Windows firewall from the Control Panel.
Hope this helps.
Upgraded form XP to Vista Home Premium and have been unable to use the Control Panel from the beginning. I've been able to delete programs by running "appwiz" which brings up the "Add/Delete" window but am unable to access the control panel for other needs.