Originally Posted by allister
with the guest account the kid can still get to the control panel(unless i'm doing it wrong)
What kinds of settings are you worried about him changing? If you create a limited or guest account, even with access to the Control Panel it will only change settings for that account.
Also, another thought is that you could simply hide the Control Panel icon from the start menu. It will still be accessible from the search, but if he doesn't know about that then it should be fine. To hide it from the start menu, right click your Start button. Then click Properties. Then click the Start Menu tab. Click Customize. Then under the Control Panel section, choose the option "Don't display this item." You can hide almost anything else from that side of the start menu this same way also.
If you need to completely disable the control panel, the link from a previous post (How To Disable Control Panel in Windows 7 - How-To Geek
) might actually work for you. Even though you stated you were on Home Premium, at the end of the post there is a method of adding a value to the registry. If you have modified the registry before, it will be no problem. However, if you don't even know what the registry is, I'd recommend either finding some other method or finding someone who is comfortable with it. Accidently changing the wrong setting in the registry can cause some serious problems with your computer. Also, this method is for Windows 7 so I'm not entirely sure how it will work on Vista (I'm assuming it should work because they are pretty similar).
If you decide to proceed with the registry method, I think you have to do it from the limited account (if you need admin privileges, I think you just have to type in your account's username and password in the UAC prompt). I haven't actually attempted this but based on the comments, doing it from the admin account just disabled it for that account, so it's safe to assume that you'd have to do it from the account you want it disabled for (in this case, the limited user account).