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Today's Know-IT-All answer is:
c. Your PC's Global Policies have been reset
Learn more:Under some combinations of circumstances, the majority of the icons in the control panel may suddenly disappear or be replaced with generic icons that have no functionality. This can happen in both Windows 2000 Professional and Server. When this happens, a great many critical functions, such as Add/Remove Programs, are no longer available and cannot be launched correctly.
The problem is also usually persistent through all user accounts, including the Administrator account. Rebooting in Safe Mode does not help either. The reason for this is not a virus or other malicious problem (although it never hurts to check!) but often results from an erroneous resetting of the Global Policies for the machine. Global Policies control (among many other things) the availability of certain icons from the Control Panel, and if reset or set incorrectly they can suddenly render the whole Control Panel inoperative.
If this quiz has left you yearning for a little more information, please check the links below for related articles and tips:
>> Serdar Yegulalp's full article entitled finding missing Control Panel icons.
>> Read this tip on changing the Control Panel link into a more useful menu.
>> Implement a useful system properties shortcut.
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