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  1. #1
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    Question WinXP ClearType Appearance Setting Resets

    I have what appears to be a strange problem concerning the ClearType setting in WinXP. This problem has occurred within the last 2 weeks. Previously it was working fine, no problems.

    System is WinXP patched to November 2013 MS patches.

    Several times a day (maybe 6 or more) WinXP will reset its default font - under Display Properties/Appearance/Effects/ from ClearType to Standard.

    The PC starts correctly with the Effects, ClearType setting checked and working correctly. Then after anything from 5 minutes to 1 hour, whether I am using the PC or not, I notice the default windows font has suddenly gone lighter and if I check the Appearance/Effects font setting I will see it has changed to Standard. I change it back to ClearType, Apply and the default font goes clearer/darker with the effect of the ClearType setting and then again after a while the default Windows font goes lighter.

    Where do I see this effect? On the Appearance tab, on Skype, on Explorer, anywhere where the default Windows font is used. It also happens when I am not running anything active on the PC.

    I have checked the registry and my settings are as follows:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop
    FontSmoothing = 2
    FontSmoothingType = 2

    HKEY_USERS/Default/Control Panel/Desktop
    FontSmoothing = 2
    FontSmoothingType = 2

    This suggests my registry is set correctly.

    I have 2 other almost identical WinXP PCs with exactly similar software, patched identically and have not seen these problems on those 2 other PCs.

    Any suggestions as to why the ClearType setting is suddenly not holding please? I have no other font issues that I have noticed.

    Regards,
    Rob

  2. #2
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    Have you checked Task Manager to see what is running?

    Have you run a full A/V scan?

    Joe

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Yes I run full AV scans regularly and all the programs in Task Manager are known and present on my other PCs.

    Rob

  4. #4
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    Have you updated other software or drivers recently?

    Joe

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Only MS patches for November and browser updates.

    Rob

  6. #6
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    Have you tried uninstalling the November patches?

    You could then reinstall one at a time to identify the culprit.

    Joe

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    How do I uninstall the MS patches please?

    Rob

  8. #8
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    See the directions for XP about half way down the page at How to Remove a Microsoft Patch.

    Joe

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Well, I believe I have finally solved my strange Cleartype problem after much hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth.

    First I tried restoring my C partition from an image backup as at 7 December. No change to the problem, it recurred. Even though 7 December was before the problem first appeared, as an additional test, I then tried restoring to an image backup made on 2 November, more than 1 month before the problem first appeared. Again, no change in behaviour and Cleartype was still being turned off intermittently. Huh??

    Thus I reasoned the problem had to be something current on my PC that was causing Cleartype to be turned off. I restored back to the current day from a C partition image taken just before going back to earlier times. I stopped all my startup programs from starting just leaving my AV and firewall running. Still Cleartype was being turned off dynamically some minutes after startup.

    I checked all the programs running in task manager against those on my other PCs. No additional programs spotted that were not running on my other PCs. I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes after turning off my AV program completely to see if it spotted anything strange. It came up with just a couple of unrelated registry entries, nothing serious, and a folder which had nothing in it and these were all duly removed. The problem did not recur all day - at least not until I restarted my PC at the very end of the day. Hmmmm!

    Next day I turned off my regular AV program at startup as this was the only program that I had stopped running the day before to run Malwarebytes and then I again ran all day with no Cleartype problems. Aha!

    Further investigation revealed my AV program was trying to update its core software version at startup, not the AV definitions. I would not let it update its core software version as I did not wish it to do this at this time because I wanted to update the software on all 3 of my PCs at the same time in a controlled manner after an image backup and only 1 PC, the one with the Cleartype problem, was currently asking to update the AV software.

    So, believe it or not, because I would not let it update its software version, it seems my AV program bit me in the neck and kept turning Cleartype off instead!

    I simply could not believe this at first but I have had my AV program turned off now for the last 4 days and no Cleartype problems since doing this. If I turn the AV program back on at the end of the day, some minutes later Cleartype gets turned off! And the reason this problem has not occurred on my two other similar PCs is because the same AV program installed on them has not yet tried to update its core software version.

    So what is my AV program causing me all these Cleartype problems? VIPRE. Not a program I will likely ever recommend again after this really infuriating incident.

    Thanks Joe for the suggestions given earlier to me in this thread.

    Rob

  10. #10
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    Nice detective work!!! We used to use Vipre at work. The occasions that I had to contact their support people they were very helpful. You could try that if you are otherwise satisfied with Vipre.

    Joe

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