Windows problem: The color scheme has been changed to Windows 7 Basic

A week ago I posted in Microsoft Forum about my continuing ATI / AERO problem.

This problem started to appear after I could not make my ATI Eyefinity work with 3 monitors. What I did, is added another old ATI card, so now I have two ATI cards with 3 monitors.

Here is what I wrote in MS Forums:

My configuration:

  • Intel i7 with 12GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Two ATI cards:
    • ATI Radeon 3450 (512MB)
    • ATI Radeon 5750 (1024MB Gddr5)
  • Three monitors – 1920×1080, 1280×1024, 1680×1050

The problem:

  • at random Aero theme switches to Basic
  • last two times it was It seems that it always happens when I was connected to Remote Desktop to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

Error massage in Systray:
The color scheme has been changed to Windows 7 Basic
The current color scheme has exceeded its allowed memory so the color scheme has been automatically changed to improve performance. Click to see more information.

The color scheme has been changed to Windows 7 Basic.

If I click for more info, it opens Windows Help with some info, like “A program that you’re running is incompatible with Aero themes.”, “Your laptop might be running low on battery power”, “Your computer’s hardware configuration or screen resolution was changed.”, “Your computer does not have enough memory to run all of the programs” and “Click to open the Aero troubleshooter.‌”

Aero troubleshooter.

  • Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem.

Also, I fully understand that “A program that you’re running is incompatible with Aero themes.” sometime kicks in, for example using Oracle SQL Developer, but this is not a case.

Workaround / temporary fix

  • I right click Desktop – Personalize, then I choose any theme (does not matter if Aero or not), then again on my theme, and Aero works again till I open Remote Desktop, then after a couple minutes problem reappears.

I am not alone
There are many users with two video cards (Windows 7 and Vista) that have the same problem:


It can not be ATI drivers, because other users have similar issues with nVidia cards. I have ATI drivers:

  • Driver Date: 3/2/2010, version 8.712.0.0
  • ATI Catalyst 10.3 Suite for Windows 7 (64 bit)

After a week

Jetta48 said that this is something to do with ‘Mirror drivers’, but I couldn’t confirm that, because this problem is reproducible with 3 monitors and 2 video cards, but with one card and two monitors everything works without any problems.

Today (28 Apr) Debra-Support Engineer asked if I got through Guided Help: Troubleshoot Aero problems in Windows 7 (kb 976170). It seems that this is the same troubleshooter, that is offered right after problem appears, and the result is the same:
Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem. (You can try exploring other options that might be helpful. Explore additional options (that leads to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\Additional Information). Close the troubleshooter)
Troubleshooting couldn't identify the problem

Update 30 Apr.

I am very certain, that issue appears only when Remote Desktop Connection is open.

Another workaround is to use Remote Desktop in non-full-screen video mode. In this case, occasionally Banner pops up, saying:
Windows has detected that your computer’s performance is slow – Click to see more information and options.

Screen shot:
Windows has detected that your computer's performance is slow

If you click on it, it says (used copy / paste):
[Window Title]

[Main Instruction]
Do you want to change the color scheme to improve performance?

The current color scheme, Windows Aero, is using most of its dedicated memory, which can result in slower computer performance. To free up some memory for better computer performance, try closing some open windows or changing the color scheme to Windows 7 Basic.

[Keep the current color scheme] [Change the color scheme to Windows 7 Basic ]

How do I decide whether to change the color scheme to improve performance?

Screen shot:
Do you want to change the color scheme to improve performance

Update Apr 26, 2013.
Thanks to Jean Marc!

Well I THINK I found a solution to get rid of the messages, it seems to work for me without any problems, please give me some feedbacks on your results.
I am using three monitors with different cards and I get the message like you guys.

  1. Open the Start menu, and type gpedit.msc in the search line and press Enter
  2. In the left pane, go to :User Configuration, /Administrative Templates/Windows Components, and Application Compatibility.
  3. In the right pane, right click on Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant and click on Edit
  4. Select disable to turn it off, and vice versa when you want to turn it back on.

It seems to work fine for me.
Give me some feedback on this please.