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Vista: The color scheme has been changed to Vista basic

by on Jan.25, 2008, under Microsoft

Here is one annoying thing that I’ve ran into while using Vista on 2 screens. Every time I lock my laptop and unlock by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del. The screen flickers and the message pops up saying:
“The color scheme has been changed to vista basic”

Also the following event is logged in Application even logs:
The Desktop Window Manager was unable to start because of an insufficient display mode color depth”
Source: Desktop Window Manager
Even ID: 9004

Basically what happens is that the color depth on second screen changes from 32 bit to 16 bit and because of that you cannot use Aero.

The solution is to stop and disable Microsoft Transient Multi-Monitor Manager or TMM.
According to Microsoft: “Transient Multi-Monitor Manager is a Windows Vista feature that simplifies the setup of display configurations on mobile computers” you can read more about it here.

Do the following to disable TMM:
1. Open Computer Management
2. Got to Computer Management (Local)>System Tools>Task Scheduler>Task Scheduler Library>Microsoft>Windows>MobilePC

3. Right click on TMM and select End. You will be asked to confirm that.

4. Right click on TMM again and select Disable.
TMM disable


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4 Comments for this entry

  • Too Tall

    That was very helpful! Have a new Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop where the screen was going black and then coming back (twice) after logging into a user account. Dug the 9004 error out of the event log. Disabled TMM as described and that seems to have fixed the issue.

  • Mats Månhav

    I too had this problem. Annoying it was, but I had not pulled myself together to find out why the flashing occurred until I this morning upgraded my email client (theBat!) which crashed because of this flashing.
    Disabling TMM, solved this.

  • enstrim

    Yup, I tried this too. My Dell Inspiron 1720 would always go funky when I woke it back up from sleep, and I would get the message from this string, and my graphics settings would basically be wonky until I rebooted. Ever since I followed these instructions though things have been working great. Thanks for the help!

  • Arun

    Hi I am also getting the same problem. I disabled but even after that the problem not solved. Can anyone help?

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