I have to thank a fellow blogger (ouch, does that make me a blogger, too? I still can’t stand this word, but I suppose it’s now inevitably part of the English vocabulary) for an excellent post that helped me out: during the install of VISTA SP2 on my laptop, the machine failed with the error code 0xC0190001 associated with explorer.exe. The first thing I did was to try Google, and the first Google hit I found was the above-mentioned blog entry, advising me to reboot into Safe Mode, allow Windows to do its thing and reboot again, and presto: VISTA is back, with SP2 properly (I hope) installed, and I saved myself a significant amount of unpleasantness associated with a system reinstall.
Or maybe I’ll have to reinstall something in the end… because although SP2 came up just fine, for some reason I lost the Aero desktop altogether, and I am back to a standard Windows 2000 style theme, the Aero theme nowhere to be found. Curious. Good thing that laptop is not mission critical, except when I am traveling, which I am not planning to do anytime soon.
Ah. Stupid service pack upgrade disabled the Themes service. It also monkeyed with one of the VMWare services, but now that I started everything that needed starting, things seem to be working fine.