The subject behavior is the result of installing a theme from an earlier version of Windows and it does NOT contain essential Microsoft visual style information.
Windows XP supports two (2) types of themes:
The Classic themes are .theme files that contain color, font, icon, cursor, wallpaper, and sound information.
The Windows XP themes are .theme files and visual style (.msstyle) files. The .msstyle files contain skin (bitmap), color, font, and other style information. The .theme file contains a pointer to the .msstyle file. Style information takes precedence over theme information.
Classic themes can be present if:
- Third-party desktop themes are installed.
- You dual-boot with Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (Me).
- You upgraded from Windows 98 with the Plus! desktop themes installed.
- You upgraded from Windows Me.
If you apply a theme and the elements that are defined in a .msstyle file are missing or incorrect, you will experience strange display behavior.