Hi there nephinview, welcome to BC!
To better help you, we're going to need a little more info about your computer and the problem. Can you tell us the version of Windows XP you are using (like Home Edition, Professional, Media Center) and the service pack? Also, do you receive any error messages when the Control Panel crashes or does it just die a quiet death? Do you recall doing or seeing anything out of the ordinary around the time this started happening (for example, installing a new program, new drivers, a virus infection, etc.)? One more question: do you use Norton or Symantec Antivirus?