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Windows XP "Theme" Service

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#1 CivilAU34


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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:07 AM

I have an issue with the Windows XP theme turning off during system shut down. My system goes in to a Windows NT mode until I manually turn the "themes" service back on. Shut down and startup seem to take a while as well. I have been through the malware forum, and have been deemed free from any malware.


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#2 black069


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  • Local time:06:29 AM

Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:19 AM


Have you ever changed the "Themes" service from its default setting of "Automatic/Started" to "Manual" or "Disabled"? The experts recommend the former for this service (refer to websites of (i) BlackViper Windows XP Service settings and/or (ii) The Elder Geek - Windows XP Services to see their recommendations).

Also check to see if there are any items under the "Dependency" tab under the "Themes" service.

This is quite likely independent of your slow boot & shut-down times as everyone notices that these slow down over time. An exception would be if you noticed this prgblem at the same time you noticed a dramatic change in bootup or shutdown times. But there are steps to take to address these problems at the same time.

What are the specs of your system? These are the things you should ALMOST always include in a new topic and include:
1. Specific Brand/Model of your computer
2. CPU (eg Intel Pentium 4 or Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon,
3. Size of RAM
4. Operating System (XP Home or Pro; Service Pack#)
5. Video/Graphics Card (& dedicated RAM)
6. Sound Card
7. Network Adapter(s). Type of internet connection (dialup, cable modem, DSL, etc.).
8. Resident (ie always-running) Antivirus Program (eg AVG 9 Free)
9. Other Anti-Malware Applications used regularly (eg Malwarebytes, SuperAntispyware, SpywareBlaster)
10. Firewall(s) - both software- (eg Windows Firewall) & hardware-based (eg router)

(Note: Once you determine this info, just keep it in a Word document for easy access the next time you begin a topic in any forum--Bleeping Computer or otherwise. If you don't know how to determine this info, I can help you out--very simple.)

By the way, what level of computer user are you on the newbie--> intermediate--> advanced spectrum? (I apologize if you already know a lot of this stuff, but I see that you're a new B.C. member w/ 9 posts.)

Some other questions/comments for you:

Q1. Do you know how to run & post a HiJackThis log (not necessarily for malware, but you may have a lot of unnecessary programs being loaded at startup).

Before I learned what I was doing, I routinely had 15-20 programs listed in the "O4" section (startup items) of HJT scan. Now, I have 4-5, but every time I install a new version of an application, it tries to stick itself in the list of auto-startup programs (examples being Quicktime & Apple Applications Updater when a new version of iTunes is installed).

There are also programs we can use, like "Autoruns" (by Sysinternals) to check out what's going on when you boot up your system.

Q2. Is your computer working great other than the Themes service issue; slow bootup; & slow shutdown? Specifically, does your system seem slow when you are opening Office files, playing games, browsing net, etc.?

Q3. When, if ever, is the last time you reinstalled your OS (and if not, when did you get your computer or upgrade to XP)?

Q4. Do you know about file fragmentation? If so, do you regularly run a defragmentation program (eg, Defraggler or Windows Defragmenter)?

Q5. Do you regularly run a "clean-up" application to rid your system of registry issues, temporary files (system & internet), etc...something like "CCleaner"?

I can even take a look at the topic you posted in the malware forum (if you will give me that link) to see if there's anything there that would not be malware, but might otherwise be causing some problems.

I know it's frustrating to post a topic & go several days w/o an answer. That's why I want to try to help you out. I'm not a Bleeping Computer moderator or a 15yo kid who writes programs in his dreams, but I do have knowledge that I think can help you.


PS If you don't understand what I'm asking, please just ask for clarification.

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