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Missing "Windows Aero" RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have searching online for answers for a while now and looked at lot of forums, but not solution as yet. also used System File checker utility as mentioned here -
    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3783329&SiteID=17, but no success.

     

    Till few days back Aero with Glass effect was working fine on my Vista Enterprise Edition (laptop), but now it has stopped working. I have ensured that both Themes and DWM services are running. When i check the Windows Color and Appearance in Personalize, I don't see the typical screen where i can select colors or check/uncheck transparency options, but am taken directly to the "Appearance Settings" dialog.

     

    It lists Windows Vista Basic, Windows Standard, Windows Classic etc, but no Windows Aero. As per the earlier forum link, I verified that all files related to aero are present in the respective folders, but I can't get Aero to work now.

     

    Any suggestions?

    Friday, October 10, 2008 6:16 AM

Answers

  • user="Atul Gupta"]

    Ronnie, thanks for your answers. here's my findings

     

    Hi Atul

     

    1. I can't run upgrade advisor since I am already on Vista. When I try to run it it says "This edition of windows does not support Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor"

     

    2. I got the laptop (Toshiba Portege M600) from office so not sure about graphics chip details. I do not have the manuals with me. Is there a way to find out if it is on board graphics chip or add-on card? the graphics adapter details are as below

     

     Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Mobile Report


    Report Date:  10/13/2008
    Report Time[hr:mms]: 09:56:32
    Driver Version:  7.14.10.1263
    Operating System:  Windows Vista (TM) Enterprise* , Service Pack 1 (6.0.6001)
    Default Language:  English
    DirectX* Version:  10.0
    Physical Memory:  2037 MB
    Minimum Graphics Memory: 8 MB
    Maximum Graphics Memory: 358 MB
    Graphics Memory in Use: 132 MB
    Processor:  x86 family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
    Processor Speed:  1995 MHZ
    Vendor ID:  8086
    Device ID:  2A02
    Device Revision:  03


    *   Accelerator Information   *

    Accelerator in Use:  Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
    Video BIOS:  1436
    Current Graphics Mode: 1280 by 800 True Color (60 Hz)

     

    *   Devices Connected to the Graphics Accelerator   *


    Active Notebook Displays: 1


    *   Notebook   *

    Monitor Name:  Generic PnP Monitor
    Display Type:  Digital
    Gamma Value:  2.20
    DDC2 Protocol:  Supported
    Maximum Image Size: Horizontal: Not Available
       Vertical:   Not Available
    Monitor Supported Modes:
    1280 by 800 (60 Hz)
    Display Power Management Support:
     Standby Mode: Not Supported
     Suspend Mode: Not Supported
     Active Off Mode: Not Supported
    Raw EDID:
    00 ff ff ff ff ff ff 00 06 10 5f 9c 00 00 00 00
    08 10 01 03 80 1d 12 78 0a 2f 30 97 58 53 8b 29
    25 50 54 00 00 00 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01
    01 01 01 01 01 01 bc 1b 00 a0 50 20 17 30 30 20
    36 00 1e b3 10 00 00 18 00 00 00 01 00 06 10 20
    00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0a 20 00 00 00 fe 00 4c
    50 31 33 33 57 58 31 2d 54 4c 41 31 00 00 00 fe
    00 43 6f 6c 6f 72 20 4c 43 44 0a 20 20 20 00 c2

    * Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.

     

    This looks like it's using an onboard chipset. 

                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Download the latest version of the TechPowerUp GPU-Z  Utility.

    techPowerUp! :: Downloads:
    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z

     

    This will give you more information on the GPU.

     

    3. I just earlier today installed Vista SP1 in hope that it may help solve the issue, but no luck

     

    I was hopeful that installing SP1 would have refreshed everything?

     

    4. In most articles, it talks about Windows Color and Appearance in Personalization settings. But for me, I don't see the typical screen from where you can select colors or enable transparency, but directly see the dialog, that usually comes by clicking the "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" and in that I don't see "Windows Aero" listed. So something is seriously wrong.

     

    From the research I have done this seems to be typical on systems where the Aero display has disappeared?

     

    5. Is there some group policy via which sys admin can disable aero?

     

    Here are 2 that I found.

     

    Location: User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Display\Desktop Themes.

    Policy: Load a specific visual style file or force Windows Classic.

    Description: If this policy is Enabled and no visual style is selected, this will force the Classic style.

     

    Location: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Desktop Windows Manager.

    Policy: Do not allow desktop composition.

    Description: This policy setting controls how some graphics are rendered and facilitates other features, including Flip, Flip3D, and Taskbar Thumbnails.

    If you enable this setting, the desktop compositor visual experience will be turned off.

    If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, desktop composition will be turned on, if the requiredhardware is in place.

     

    6. Are there any aero specific drivers that load during system boot, that I can verify? with no options appearing (as in point 4), does this mean some relevant files/drivers have been deleted?

     

    The only files that I have ben able to find that are associated are these.

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

    aero.theme

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero

    aero.msstyles

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero\en-US

    aero.msstyles.mui

     

    What I cannot find is what the specific function is that tells the system to enable the Aero display? If it's just the Experience Index, you should be seeing Aero?

     

    7. I did not install the 939423 hot fix, since it talked about multiple monitors as well, which I don't have.

     

    The way I understand it, this hotfix is incorporated into SP1.

     

    I also found a very good Aero troubleshooting guide. This seems to cover every aspect that is involved in enabling the Aero display. Give it a try and let me know what you find.

     

    CleverCretin's Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting Windows Aero:
    http://clevercretin.com/vista/

    Hope this helps.



    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Monday, October 13, 2008 11:35 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Atul

     

    The question is 'what changed' between the time Aero was working and when you noticed that it was no longer working?

     

    Here is a list of articles that should help to fix the problem.

     

    Your computer's Windows Experience Index score may change after you install Windows Vista Service Pack 1:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953286

     

    You may experience issues with the Windows Aero feature on a Windows Vista-based computer:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945000/


     

    See the following article for the steps about how to rebuild the Windows Experience Index.
    I recommend using the steps in Method 4.

     

    The Windows Experience Index rating may inherit an incorrect value after you make a change to your computer's hardware configuration or you start Windows Vista for the first time:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933478

     

    Let us know what you find.


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Friday, October 10, 2008 5:53 PM
    Moderator
  • "What changed" is really the question to which I can't see to find an answer. I can't clearly remember when this stopped working, but this happened in the last week or so. I have seen occassionally Vista crash when i close the lid. it sometimes fails to hibernate properly. Anyway, the bottomline is that this was working earlier and now i can't even see "Windows Aero" listed in the colors dialog, which is strange.

     

    I went thro' the links and here are the findings

     

    windows experience index need a rebuild and post that it now reads 3.1.  ( with the Graphics category at - 3.1)

    Machine details - Vista Enterprise, 2 GHz Intel core duo processor, 2 GB RAM

     

    There seems to be some issue with graphics Adapter
    total graphics memory - 358 MB
    dedicated video memory - 0 MB
    system video memory - 128 MB
    Shared system memory - 230 MB

     

    The link you shared said that dedicated video memory should be at least 128 MB and this is currently 0. I have no idea if this was always the case or has become like this recently.

     

    Other values

    Colors - highest 32 bit
    Refresh - 60 Hz

     

    I cannot do a windows update from home (keep getting error code 8024402C), maybe because some of this is managed by administrator (this being vista enterprise). From the history, i can see the latest update is security update for Windows Medie encoder 9 series for vista (KB954156)

     

    I found another article - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939423/. do you think this is applicable?

     

    I had also recently installed InterWin DVD for the laptop (Toshiba). But never got to use it. I don't think just installation can cause Aero to go off ! But anyway, I uninstalled it as well.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008 4:00 AM
  • Hi Atul

     

    user="Atul Gupta"]

    "What changed" is really the question to which I can't see to find an answer. I can't clearly remember when this stopped working, but this happened in the last week or so. I have seen occassionally Vista crash when i close the lid. it sometimes fails to hibernate properly. Anyway, the bottomline is that this was working earlier and now i can't even see "Windows Aero" listed in the colors dialog, which is strange.

     

    I went thro' the links and here are the findings

     

    windows experience index need a rebuild and post that it now reads 3.1.  ( with the Graphics category at - 3.1)

    Machine details - Vista Enterprise, 2 GHz Intel core duo processor, 2 GB RAM

     

    There seems to be some issue with graphics Adapter
    total graphics memory - 358 MB
    dedicated video memory - 0 MB
    system video memory - 128 MB
    Shared system memory - 230 MB

     

    The link you shared said that dedicated video memory should be at least 128 MB and this is currently 0. I have no idea if this was always the case or has become like this recently.

     

    Other values

    Colors - highest 32 bit
    Refresh - 60 Hz

     

    Does the laptop have a separate, add-in video card or an integrated graphics chip? If it has an integrated chip, the information about 'dedicated video memory' may not apply.

     

    The total graphics memory and the graphics score looks like Aero should be working?

     

    I cannot do a windows update from home (keep getting error code 8024402C), maybe because some of this is managed by administrator (this being vista enterprise). From the history, i can see the latest update is security update for Windows Medie encoder 9 series for vista (KB954156)

     

    Here is an article that addresses that error message when using Windows Update. This probably is not connected with the Aero problem.

     

    Error code 0x8024402C when you try to install updates on Windows Update or Microsoft Update Web sites:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/900936


     

    I found another article - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939423/. do you think this is applicable?

     

    Possibly. Do you have the Vista Service Pack 1 installed yet? It would not hurt to get that hotfix and install it.

    Click the link at the top of that article 'View and request hotfix downloads', agree to the license terms and follow the instructions. You will receive an email with a download link for the hotfix and a password to unlock the installation file.

     

    I had also recently installed InterWin DVD for the laptop (Toshiba). But never got to use it. I don't think just installation can cause Aero to go off ! But anyway, I uninstalled it as well.

     

    I doubt that this is connected to the problem, especially if it was never actually used. 

     

    Let me know the results.

     

    I'll do some more research on this today and let you know if I find anything.



     


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Sunday, October 12, 2008 6:46 PM
    Moderator
  • [Update]

     

    Atul

     

    Just for information, try running the Vista Upgrade Advisor on that system.

     

    This may give us some information about any possible issues with the graphics setup.

     

    Get Windows Vista: Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx


     

    Let me know the results.

     



    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Sunday, October 12, 2008 7:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Ronnie, thanks for your answers. here's my findings

     

    1. I can't run upgrade advisor since I am already on Vista. When I try to run it it says "This edition of windows does not support Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor"

     

    2. I got the laptop (Toshiba Portege M600) from office so not sure about graphics chip details. I do not have the manuals with me. Is there a way to find out if it is on board graphics chip or add-on card? the graphics adapter details are as below

     

     Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Mobile Report


    Report Date:  10/13/2008
    Report Time[hr:mmTongue Tieds]: 09:56:32
    Driver Version:  7.14.10.1263
    Operating System:  Windows Vista (TM) Enterprise* , Service Pack 1 (6.0.6001)
    Default Language:  English
    DirectX* Version:  10.0
    Physical Memory:  2037 MB
    Minimum Graphics Memory: 8 MB
    Maximum Graphics Memory: 358 MB
    Graphics Memory in Use: 132 MB
    Processor:  x86 family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
    Processor Speed:  1995 MHZ
    Vendor ID:  8086
    Device ID:  2A02
    Device Revision:  03


    *   Accelerator Information   *

    Accelerator in Use:  Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
    Video BIOS:  1436
    Current Graphics Mode: 1280 by 800 True Color (60 Hz)

     

    *   Devices Connected to the Graphics Accelerator   *


    Active Notebook Displays: 1


    *   Notebook   *

    Monitor Name:  Generic PnP Monitor
    Display Type:  Digital
    Gamma Value:  2.20
    DDC2 Protocol:  Supported
    Maximum Image Size: Horizontal: Not Available
       Vertical:   Not Available
    Monitor Supported Modes:
    1280 by 800 (60 Hz)
    Display Power Management Support:
     Standby Mode: Not Supported
     Suspend Mode: Not Supported
     Active Off Mode: Not Supported
    Raw EDID:
    00 ff ff ff ff ff ff 00 06 10 5f 9c 00 00 00 00
    08 10 01 03 80 1d 12 78 0a 2f 30 97 58 53 8b 29
    25 50 54 00 00 00 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01
    01 01 01 01 01 01 bc 1b 00 a0 50 20 17 30 30 20
    36 00 1e b3 10 00 00 18 00 00 00 01 00 06 10 20
    00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0a 20 00 00 00 fe 00 4c
    50 31 33 33 57 58 31 2d 54 4c 41 31 00 00 00 fe
    00 43 6f 6c 6f 72 20 4c 43 44 0a 20 20 20 00 c2

    * Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.                                                                                                                                                                                              

     

    3. I just earlier today installed Vista SP1 in hope that it may help solve the issue, but no luck

     

    4. In most articles, it talks about Windows Color and Appearance in Personalization settings. But for me, I don't see the typical screen from where you can select colors or enable transparency, but directly see the dialog, that usually comes by clicking the "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" and in that I don't see "Windows Aero" listed. So something is seriously wrong.

     

    5. Is there some group policy via which sys admin can disable aero?

     

    6. Are there any aero specific drivers that load during system boot, that I can verify? with no options appearing (as in point 4), does this mean some relevant files/drivers have been deleted?

     

    7. I did not install the 939423 hot fix, since it talked about multiple monitors as well, which I don't have.

     

    Monday, October 13, 2008 4:59 AM
  • user="Atul Gupta"]

    Ronnie, thanks for your answers. here's my findings

     

    Hi Atul

     

    1. I can't run upgrade advisor since I am already on Vista. When I try to run it it says "This edition of windows does not support Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor"

     

    2. I got the laptop (Toshiba Portege M600) from office so not sure about graphics chip details. I do not have the manuals with me. Is there a way to find out if it is on board graphics chip or add-on card? the graphics adapter details are as below

     

     Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Mobile Report


    Report Date:  10/13/2008
    Report Time[hr:mms]: 09:56:32
    Driver Version:  7.14.10.1263
    Operating System:  Windows Vista (TM) Enterprise* , Service Pack 1 (6.0.6001)
    Default Language:  English
    DirectX* Version:  10.0
    Physical Memory:  2037 MB
    Minimum Graphics Memory: 8 MB
    Maximum Graphics Memory: 358 MB
    Graphics Memory in Use: 132 MB
    Processor:  x86 family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
    Processor Speed:  1995 MHZ
    Vendor ID:  8086
    Device ID:  2A02
    Device Revision:  03


    *   Accelerator Information   *

    Accelerator in Use:  Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
    Video BIOS:  1436
    Current Graphics Mode: 1280 by 800 True Color (60 Hz)

     

    *   Devices Connected to the Graphics Accelerator   *


    Active Notebook Displays: 1


    *   Notebook   *

    Monitor Name:  Generic PnP Monitor
    Display Type:  Digital
    Gamma Value:  2.20
    DDC2 Protocol:  Supported
    Maximum Image Size: Horizontal: Not Available
       Vertical:   Not Available
    Monitor Supported Modes:
    1280 by 800 (60 Hz)
    Display Power Management Support:
     Standby Mode: Not Supported
     Suspend Mode: Not Supported
     Active Off Mode: Not Supported
    Raw EDID:
    00 ff ff ff ff ff ff 00 06 10 5f 9c 00 00 00 00
    08 10 01 03 80 1d 12 78 0a 2f 30 97 58 53 8b 29
    25 50 54 00 00 00 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01
    01 01 01 01 01 01 bc 1b 00 a0 50 20 17 30 30 20
    36 00 1e b3 10 00 00 18 00 00 00 01 00 06 10 20
    00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0a 20 00 00 00 fe 00 4c
    50 31 33 33 57 58 31 2d 54 4c 41 31 00 00 00 fe
    00 43 6f 6c 6f 72 20 4c 43 44 0a 20 20 20 00 c2

    * Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.

     

    This looks like it's using an onboard chipset. 

                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Download the latest version of the TechPowerUp GPU-Z  Utility.

    techPowerUp! :: Downloads:
    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z

     

    This will give you more information on the GPU.

     

    3. I just earlier today installed Vista SP1 in hope that it may help solve the issue, but no luck

     

    I was hopeful that installing SP1 would have refreshed everything?

     

    4. In most articles, it talks about Windows Color and Appearance in Personalization settings. But for me, I don't see the typical screen from where you can select colors or enable transparency, but directly see the dialog, that usually comes by clicking the "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" and in that I don't see "Windows Aero" listed. So something is seriously wrong.

     

    From the research I have done this seems to be typical on systems where the Aero display has disappeared?

     

    5. Is there some group policy via which sys admin can disable aero?

     

    Here are 2 that I found.

     

    Location: User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Display\Desktop Themes.

    Policy: Load a specific visual style file or force Windows Classic.

    Description: If this policy is Enabled and no visual style is selected, this will force the Classic style.

     

    Location: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Desktop Windows Manager.

    Policy: Do not allow desktop composition.

    Description: This policy setting controls how some graphics are rendered and facilitates other features, including Flip, Flip3D, and Taskbar Thumbnails.

    If you enable this setting, the desktop compositor visual experience will be turned off.

    If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, desktop composition will be turned on, if the requiredhardware is in place.

     

    6. Are there any aero specific drivers that load during system boot, that I can verify? with no options appearing (as in point 4), does this mean some relevant files/drivers have been deleted?

     

    The only files that I have ben able to find that are associated are these.

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

    aero.theme

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero

    aero.msstyles

    C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero\en-US

    aero.msstyles.mui

     

    What I cannot find is what the specific function is that tells the system to enable the Aero display? If it's just the Experience Index, you should be seeing Aero?

     

    7. I did not install the 939423 hot fix, since it talked about multiple monitors as well, which I don't have.

     

    The way I understand it, this hotfix is incorporated into SP1.

     

    I also found a very good Aero troubleshooting guide. This seems to cover every aspect that is involved in enabling the Aero display. Give it a try and let me know what you find.

     

    CleverCretin's Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting Windows Aero:
    http://clevercretin.com/vista/

    Hope this helps.



    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Monday, October 13, 2008 11:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Ronnie, finally ! it worked :-). Thanks for all your support. The clevercretin site helped resolve this. A few interesting findings

     

    1. While adjusting the "Visual effects" from Performance Information and Options dialog, I saw that my machine was set to "Custom" with hardly any option checked

     

    2. Changing this to "Adjust for best appearance" didn't immediately help since the options "Enable desktop composition" and "Enable Transparent glass" weren't listed

     

    3. I tried updating display adapter driver, but it seemed to be the latest

     

    4. I ran the sfc /scannow command, but it showed 100% correctness. Since I recently installed SP1, I didn't expect anything else

     

    The really surprising thing that helped was a step that said that if you run RDC, due to bug in the software, sometimes on close of session, Aero may not re-engage. I recalled that I was using MS Office Communicator and doing desktop sharing the last time when it had switched to basic and didn't return to Aero.

     

    So I did that. I had a chat session with a colleage, did desktop sharing (that caused it to switch to Vista basic) and then disconnected. When to "Windows Color and Appearence" and behold !!!! "Windows Aero" was listed there and I could finally enable it.

     

    Amazing ! This sounds like you get hit on the head and loose memory, so you hit on the head again and regain your memory

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008 6:46 AM
  • Atul

     

    Excellent!

     

    I'm glad you found the solution, I'll add this to my list of fixes for this problem. 

     

    Take care.

     

     

     



    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Tuesday, October 14, 2008 3:26 PM
    Moderator