I have had the same problem recently. Here's what I discovered, FWIW:
I wanted to start with the simplest, lowest-impact solution. It worked:
That solved the problem completely.
Welcome to Microsoft answers forum for Windows Vista Community!
What happens when you try to boot in safe mode?
To start your computer in safe mode, you can refer the below link:
I would suggest you to place the computer in a clean boot state and check if the issue resolved:
1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER to start the System Configuration Utility. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
3. On the General tab, click Selective Startup, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
4. On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.
5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
6. Check if you still have the issue.
Refer the link below for more details:
How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista
Reset the computer to start as usual After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start as usual:
a. Click Start , type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
e. If this does not help, try to run a SFC scan. To do a SFC scan follow the steps below:
Use system file checker tool which is also called SFC scan.
System File Checker (SFC) checks that all Vista system files are where they should be as they were by default and not corrupted, changed, or damaged.
1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
2. Click Continue or supply Administrator credentials if prompted.
3. In the Command Prompt window type the following, and press Enter:
4. You should see the following on-screen messages:
Beginning the system scan. This process will take some time.
Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification % complete.
5. Once the scan has completed, test to see whether the issue that you are experiencing is resolved or not.
Savan – Microsoft Support.
No joy, assuming I did, in fact, turn off Aero. I went to Adjust Visual Effects and set it to "Best Performance". The result sure >>looked<< like Aero wasn't running :).
Any other thoughts? I haven't added any new hardware since long before upgrading to Windows 7.
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