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Windows 7: Aero theme problems, can't enable it

03 Jun 2013   #1
emptyspace

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Aero theme problems, can't enable it

I am having some problems enabling aero on my laptop. I had it working before, about a month ago, and then I either did a windows update or updated my graphics card driver or both and that's when aero stopped working. I didn't feel like fixing it at the time so I put it off to the side and went on vacation so here I am a month later trying to fix it.

I googled a bunch of fixes but nothing seemed to work. I updated to the latest graphics card driver (Nvidia GTX 460m), 320.18 and did the latest win 7 updates. I also doubled check to make sure the theme I selected was using aero.

Here is a list of the fixes I tried to do and some weird things I noticed.

1. I tried a few different registry edits, below is one of them but I tried and changed a few different things. I have a reg backup too from before I changed things.
Code:
  1. Open Registry Editor (RegEdit).
  2. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM If the DWM registry key is not found, right click on Windows and then select New -> Key to create new branch and name it as DWM.
  3. In the right details pane, create a new DWORD (32-bit value) named UseMachineCheck, and set its value to 0.
  4. In the right details pane, create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named Blur, and set its value to 0.
  5. In the right details pane, create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named Animations, and set its value to 0.
  6. Restart the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager in Services in Control Panel (type Services.msc in Start Search), or run the following commands in a command prompt with administrator privileges: net stop uxsms net start uxsms
  7. Attempt to enable and apply Windows Aero in Windows 7. Restart the computer if required.
2. I noticed when I go to performance option, there is no mention of aeropeek or other options that should be there

3. I tried installing nvidia drivers ranging from 275.33 - 320.18 with no luck.

4. My system restore points only go back a day even when I check the box that says "Show more restore points" so that is no help

5. When I search aero and then click the "Find and fix problems .... visual effects", windows does a search to find the problem and the problem that it detects is Desktop Window Manger is disabled. So I went into services.msc and found Desktop windows manger and it is already running, startup type is automatic. So I stopped it and started it again by right clicking it and nothing. I tried the command line version, net stop uxsms and net start ucsms, as admin and nothing.

6. Updated Windows Experience Index, everything is above 7.1 except for primary HDD, thats at 5.9.

7. Created a new user but the results are the same

Anyone have some suggestions?




Attached Images
  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2013   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello emptyspace, and welcome to Seven Forums.

In addition, here are some more items to double check:
  • Windows needs to be activated.
  • You must be have True Color (32 bit) set instead of High Color (16 bit).
  • The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager and Themes Services need to be set to Start and Automatic.
  • The desktop composition and Animate controls and elements inside windows options enabled in Visual Effects.
Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2013   #3
emptyspace

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I tried all those but still no luck. Below is the checklist that I did.

  • Windows is activated
  • It's set for True Color (32 bit)
  • The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager and Themes Services are Started and Automatic.
  • Animate controls and elements inside windows options enabled in Visual Effects.
I noticed that in visual effects, there is nothing in that windows that mentions desktop composite option to be checked off. That option is completely missing.


I really don't want to reinstall the OS and go through that hassle. Any other options I can try?


Thanks for the help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2013   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You could do a repair install without losing anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2013   #5
Gary

Win7 Pro SP1 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by emptyspace View Post
I tried all those but still no luck. Below is the checklist that I did.

  • Windows is activated
  • It's set for True Color (32 bit)
  • The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager and Themes Services are Started and Automatic.
  • Animate controls and elements inside windows options enabled in Visual Effects.
I noticed that in visual effects, there is nothing in that windows that mentions desktop composite option to be checked off. That option is completely missing.


I really don't want to reinstall the OS and go through that hassle. Any other options I can try?


Thanks for the help
it should say "Enable Desktop Composition"

Click on the custom setting at the top.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2013   #6
emptyspace

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Yes, it should say enable desktop composition and enable aero peek and a few other things but it doesn't. Those options are not there.

I am doing a repair install now and I will see how that goes.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2013   #7
emptyspace

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Holy crap, problems galore. Windows kept saying that it could not install for the hardware or something and then that lead to other problems. So the solution was to just use a 3 month old backup image of the HDD. Thanks for the help everyone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2013   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

I'm glad you were able to get it sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2013   #9
jmw082

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I had the same issue out of the blue. It also told me the system could not log onto the system event notification service. I tried all of the fixes for both issues, then found a windows hotfix (KB2590550 v2) that resolved both issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2014   #10
Gosta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

This solved my windows aero problem!

1. Open a program called Services. (click the windows flag in the bottom left corner, then type Services in the search field and open the first program on the list)

2. Scroll down the list that appears and right click on a field that says "Themes". Click on properties. On the "General tab" you can see an option that says "Startup type". Click on it and choose "Automatic". Then click the button that says "Start". Then hit Apply...... BIG STEP!!! DON'T FORGET TO "APPLY"!!!!

3. Go back to the big list again and look for a field that says "Desktop Windows Manager Session Manager". Then right-click and choose properties. Then change the "Startup type" to "Automatic" and click the "Start"-button. Then click APPLY!!!

Don't forget to "Apply" after changing the settings!

4. You can now close the windows and change your themes, if not you should try restarting your pc.


I hope this solved your themes-problem!

Gosta
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Aero theme problems, can't enable it




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