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Windows 7: Windows 7 taskbar looks odd and Aero not working

28 Jun 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Windows 7 taskbar looks odd and Aero not working

I have a problem started in the last few days that the taskbar looks basic and the aero theme doesn't seem to be working. The computer is an i5 with 8 GB of memory running Windows 7 Pro SP1 with all updates applied. If I do a system restore to 20 June, then everything works again, but as soon as I reboot the problem is back. The problem only seems to occur with me as user; if I log in as administrator, everything is fine.

Looking at previous posts on this type of problem, I have picked up various things which I have tried :
1. System restore : as I said above, works, but only until the next reboot.
2. SFC scan finds nothing wrong and makes no difference.
3. Checked services: Desktop Window Manage Session Manager and Themes services are running and set to start automatically.
4. Aero troubleshooter finds nothing.
5. Re-running the Windows Experience checker didn't help.
6. Full malware scan (F-Secure) found nothing.

I also considered whether it might be Windows update KB 2670838 or IE10 (both of which I have installed) but decided that if it were that then it would affect everyone on the computer not just me, and furthermore those were both installed long before the trouble started, so I haven't tried uninstalling IE10.

I'm now at the end of my ideas, anyone got any other ideas ?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2013   #2

windows 7 ultimate x64 and windows 8 pro x64

i see in your 3rd step you checekd to see if they were runnung but try stopping and restarting the services for desktop window manage session manager, themes, and unsigned themes
Windows 7 aero theme not working?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Thanks, I'll try that on Monday when I'm at that computer again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jun 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

Try right-clicking on your desktop. Click "Peronalize". Make sure that you have an Aero Theme as your default. It sounds to me as if Windows Classic is your default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Thanks for the suggestion, but we're way beyond that level of basic already. My problem is that the Aero theme is not working - I can set it, but the desktop stays clunky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Backup your files.

Create a new user, delete the old and be done with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Any new background service/software products installed (since the date of your system restore which you say temporarily fixes the problem until a re-boot) for you as "user", which might be incompatible with Aero? You say things are fine when you're logged in as Administrator, and only returns when you are logged in as a "user", so that would point to some piece of software applicable to your "user" environment.

For example, the RealVNC "host server" software will change the desktop to BASIC (from Aero) when a RealVNC "client" connects because Aero is not supported for its desktop "remote mirror" functionality. Once the "client" disconnects, Aero desktop is restored.

So perhaps something is running when you are active as "user" that requires the BASIC desktop. Have you compared the running processes for "user" vs. "administrator"? And from your story, it probably was relatively recently installed, i.e. since that interesting system restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 - 64 Bit

Right click the Desktop and select Personalisation, change the theme to Windows Classic and then select an Aero theme again.

Check if you have the latest graphic drivers
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 taskbar looks odd and Aero not working

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