Is there something rotten in Windows XP theme-land?

The symptom

This week has seen something crop up I have never seen before on any Tablet PC.  I have three Tablet PCs all running either the Energy Blue theme or the Zune theme I recently mentioned.  I love both themes and they rock on the Tablet PC.  A couple of days ago something bizarre has started happening that is incredibly annoying, which I first started seeing happen on the Fujitsu P1610.  Randomly, when I resume from standby (usually while docked but not always), Windows XP resumes displaying the uber-ugly Windows Classic theme.  The graphics properties box still shows the theme to be my customized one but it’s switched itself to the gray Classic style.  The only solution is to go in and select a different theme, reselect my customized one using either Zune or the Energy Blue theme, and then reapply it.  This is a time waster for a mobile guy like me who is going into Standby and Resume multiple times per day.  It does not happen every time which is why it’s so bizarre, it’s totally random.

The scope

I mentioned that I have three Tablet PCs and shortly after it started happening on the Fujitsu it also started happening on the HP tc1100 and the Sony U71.  The symptom is exactly the same, resume from standby and find the ugly Classic theme.  I should mention that the Fujitsu is now my main machine so the other two are being used sporadically but it seems that it’s happening just as frequently on these devices as it is on the Fujitsu.  Once or twice a day for all three machines.

The hypothesis

The only thing common to all three machines that fits the time frame that the behavior started is Patch Tuesday.  Microsoft released several patches and since I have all three devices set to auto-update that happened with all three sometime late Tuesday night.  The odd theme problem definitely started occurring shortly after that and while I can’t say that is the definite cause it sticks out as the likely culprit because A) it is the only thing I can think of that is common to all three Tablets and B) the timing fits perfectly.

Am I the only one who is seeing this phenomenon?  If you have begun to see this happen what device is affected and when did it start?  Maybe we can figure this out together once and for all.

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