completely lost Aero features

i've tried almost everthing that i can think of put i can't solve this
proplem. while playing a mad session of homeworld2, i alt+tabbed to my
desktop to look at other programs a coupla times. i think that was the
only time i've ever alt+tabbed while playing hw2 because i usually
winlogo+tab. anyway, when i finished playing i noticed the clear glass
look was gone and all those other nifty little Aero feature were

no biggie, right? just r click -> personalize -> theme -> win vis Aero,
right? except, when i get to the theme diag box, there is no Areo
option. whadda...?

to make a long story short, i have:
* downloaded an original Areo theme, thinking that mines is corrupted.
* downloaded customized themes w/ aero features.
* ran sfc /sannow to repair original system files.
* looked for incompatible apps in task manager and msconfig.
* started and restarted themes and dwmsm in Services.
* tried to use restore point but all those where deleted.

almost everything. about the only thing i haven't done is a full
reinstall of vista (to drastic) or updated my video drivers (i can't.
that's another thread).

HELP!! this vista basic is horrible on the eyes!!!

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