My XP setup has been working OK but now it doesn't start with my proper desktop display settings. I have Windows Classic theme selected for the display properties but lately when I start Windows I get a desktop that is Windows Classic but with XP "windows and buttons" (Appearance tab). Each session I change back to Windows classic style "windows and buttons" but next time I start up the system comes up with XP "windows and buttons" with Display Properties>Appearance setting shown as XP "windows and buttons". Any Ideas why my Windows Classic Style is not being saved.

Thanks for the post but everything was already set correctly - nothing was stopping me change the display settings but, once again, when I started my system the "windows and buttons" was set to XP after I had set it to Classic before closing down. The system lets me change to Classic but aways starts up set to XP.

You could try setting up a new account and setting that up as you want then reboot and log-on to that account. If all works well then, just delete your old account and use the new one. If that will not work, we will have to look further.

Thanks. I tried that (setting up a new account), and it worked correctly - I changed to Windows Classic, restarted the machine and the new account came up with Windows Classic - great. Thanks for your help but if anyone does know what was the original problem, please let me know.

Following on from my last post, after I had created a new user, the original user started behaving correctly so it looked as though everything was solved. Last night I deleted the new user I had set up (as I didn't now need it) and this morning the original user came up but back with the old problem - XP windows and buttons instead of Classic!!!! It seems the new user, set to Windows Classic was keeping the original user correct??? Weird, any comments would be useful.

i had the same issue then ran the 'sfc / scannow' function to re-copy my XP SP2 cd files in case any dll's etc had corrupt. I then went to microsoft to download all the latest patches again. All fine for me.

Start > Run > (type) sfc / scannow (put your CD in tray and let it do its stuff)

Hope that works for you also

Thanks guys. I've already run a virus check (Avast), a spyware check (Spybot) and the "sfc / scannow" but they didn't help. I'll try the other suggestions. BTW as soon as I re-created a second user (after deleting it) the display in my original user came right again with the correct settings. Very strange.

I think if it were malware /trojan ,just creating a new account wouldn't fix the setting on the other acct,But i have no suggestion as how to fix it .except not making the new accT an administrato,r and just leave it ,don't use it !

Thanks for that but I did that last night and Anti-Malware always hung and became unresponsive after 6 or 7 minutes (always at a different place in the scan) - never got it to finish a full scan, it did a quick scan OK and that was clean. I have run Spybot and Spyware Terminator and both gave a clean scan.

I still haven't worked out why my XP system is behaving as it does but I have discovered a way to force it into Windows Classic display and it works fine now.

Start Menu > Run and type gpedit.msc. Navigate to User Configuration >
Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer and
set the "Turn on Classic Shell" option to Enabled.

Hope this may help others and thanks again for all your support.