Fix for Themes Service Startup Problems in Windows 7 and Vista

When you start your Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, the Themes service may not automatically start although its Startup Type is set to Automatic. And when you attempt to start the service manually using Services MMC, one of the following errors may occur.

Windows could not start the Themes service on Local Computer.

Error 126: The specified module could not be found.

Error 1313: A specified privilege does not exist.
Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.

As a result, Aero features do not work in the computer. Here is how to fix the Themes Service in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Fix the Themes Service

Themes Registry Fix

Download and unzip the contents to a folder. The archive contains two REG files. (themesvc-w7.reg is for Windows 7, and themesvc-vista.reg is for Windows Vista systems.) Double-click the appropriate REG file to apply the contents.

Restart Windows and see if the Themes service starts correctly. If that does not help, try to start the Themes service manually and note down the error code/message. Meanwhile, see if running the System File Checker helps.

Running the System File Checker

System File Checker merely makes sure that all system files are where they should be. The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

Open an Elevated Command Prompt window. To do so, click Start, then type cmd in the Start Search box. In the results area, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. You will be prompted to type the password for an administrator account. Click Continue if you are the administrator or type the administrator password. Then, click Continue.

At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER.

Sfc /scannow

The scan may take some time to complete. Windows will repair any corrupted or missing files that it finds. If required, Windows may prompt you to insert the Operating System CD.

See Also

Troubleshoot problems with Windows Aero – Windows Vista Help

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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