To open the panel control in Windows XP and Windows 7 in several ways. The easiest option is through the main menu. Click "start", then select "Panel control". In the opened window you can choose you are interested in any of the settings.
You can access the panel control via the icon "My computer" on the desktop. Click it by right mouse button, select "Explore". In the Explorer window that opens look in the left column the string "Bar control" and click it with the mouse. Explorer itself can be caused by a combination Win+E.
You can open the panel of the system settings via the menu command "Run". Click "start" then "Run" (or simply press the key combination Win+R). Type control and click OK. The same command can be used in the case if you work in the console: "start" - "All programs" - "Accessories" - "Command prompt". Type control and press Enter.
If you wish, you can customize the main menu item "Panel control" so that when you hover over it the cursor displayed all the elements of the settings. Just right-click on the taskbar (bar at the bottom of the Windows window), and select "Properties".
Select the "start Menu" and click "Configure". Open the "Advanced" tab, locate the item "Dashboard management" and check "Display as menu". Click OK. Similarly you can configure other menu items.
If you are using Windows 8, the opening panel control depends on which interface you use "tile" or regular. If "tile", then enter Control Panel - Windows will search and show you the icon of the panel control. If you use a common interface, move the cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen and click the right mouse button. In the opened contextual menu, select Control Panel.