windows 7

Getting Aero Back

Whilst I was installing my various apps on my new system I suddenly noticed that the Aero theme had completely vanished.  I had previously installed my copy of Spore which also installed DirectX 9.0c and I assumed that this may be the reason.

The Desktop had switched back to classic mode and no matter how I tried I could not find anything related to getting it back.  Even selected one of the preinstalled Aero themes didn’t switch correctly.  After a long slog around the internet I had found a few things to try.

The first was the obvious system reboot.  Nothing changed.  I then checked that the two services that manage this in the background were running correctly.  The two services are:

  • Desktop Window Manager Session Manager
  • Themes

These were both correctly running and setup to start Automatically when the OS boots.  The next thing I tried was to run System File Checker,  to run this open a command prompt and execute this command:

Sfc /scannow

This performed a file system check on the machine but didn’t find any problems.  I then ran the Aero Troubleshooter and the online diagnostic tool both of which didn’t find any issues.  Still no Aero theme on my machine.

I then simple restarted the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service and low and behold Aero returned!  That is very puzzling since I performed a reboot on the machine which would have obviously restarted this service when the OS rebooted.

Basically, I had installed an older application (pre-Vista) called Starry Night Pro 4.5, now when I launch this app Windows 7 turns off Aero as the application loads using OpenGL but now when I close this application Windows 7 correctly re-enables Aero.  Happy Days!

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