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After a system reboot, Vista dumped Windows Aero and my system now is Windows Standard... What do I need to do to get this working again? I cannot enable it from Personalization or anywhere. This happened once before, and fixed it by starting several services that had been disabled. DWM session manager is running, and so is the 'Theme' Service...

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Vista may dump Aero if it thinks that the video driver doesn't support it.
I would go to the manufacturer's site and install the latest driver for your card (re-install even if already installed).

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In Windows Vista, when any background process/program has started which doesn't support graphics as comparable to Windows Vista Aero, Windows automatically switches theme to avoid any unstable video.

I have noticed that with "Live Mesh" software.

I would suggest to disable/close any unwanted program in system tray/services.

Hope This helps.

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If you haven't already, check for driver updates.

Alternately, if Vista thinks that things have changed (reguardless of if they actually have) you may need to re-run the performance benchmark.

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