It is not necessary to do the method below anymore, simply use "update windows" feature and the right driver
will be downloaded automatically, once installed, simply click "rate this computer" under display properties (I think, it's been a while since I did it), and aero will come on
I have spent about 3hrs trying to get the windows aero to enable on my slightly dated hp pavilion dv5000 laptop and I finally did it, so I thought I would post this thread to help others who cant get aero enabled (even tho your gfx card should do it easily).
Firstly, dont bother with that registry hack, it doesnt work.
So, I downloaded the latest ati catalyst from the website, installed it, and expected to see some nice glass windows.....WRONG, nothing changed
So heres what to do, open DEVICE MANAGER from the CONTROL PANEL, from the device tree click on DISPLAY ADAPTERS, double click the name (mine says ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 SERIES), then click the DRIVER tab at the top, what does it say next to driver date???? If it says a date from 2005 like mine did, its not using the new ati catalyst driver (which I will assume at this point you have already installed to no avail).
My theory is this, Windows uses the driver it feels is best suited (in this case the ati driver is not digitally signed so it ignores it), and it is using a driver for "Standard VGA Adapter" so running Windows Experience Index test will have a base score of 1.0 like mine did so, no aero
Here is the solution.......
Firstly, install the ati catalyst (I had to use a slightly older version which was supposed to be for vista cos my radeon xpress 200m was not in the .inf file)
From the DEVICE MANAGER open the DISPLAY ADAPTER properties (as described above) then on the driver tab click "UPDATE DRIVER...", then from the pop up box select "Browse my comp. for driver software", then select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers
on my comp.", then click the "Have disk..." button, click "Browse...", by default the ati drivers will be in C:\ATI folder, so browse to this folder, the folder string on mine was like this "C:\ATI\SUPPORT\9-8_legacy_vista32-64_dd_ccc\Packages\Drivers\Display\LH_INF" (It may differ slightly on yours), well keep going thru the folders similar to how I just described until it shows a file called something like CL_85694.inf then click "OK", then in the box labelled "Model" you will see a list taken from the .inf file, go down the list until you find your card (in my case I was looking for ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 Series), highlight your card and press "Next", after which you get a warning about it not being compatible, just ignore it and click YES, after its installed restart pc and thats it, aero enabled, my base score went up to 2.9 after doing this
This should work for most cards and installers so doing it with other types of cards should work no prob, you will just need to force windows to use the unsigned drivers like I did.
Hope this helps!