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This is a guide to enable Aero(DWM) in Windows Vista builds 5212-5284 in VMware workstation and Player.

First, get the display drivers for your build, I recommend the VMware 6.5.2 driver, you can find it on Note: To install 5231 in VMware, use 6.0 compatibility mode or else it will BSOD!

Also, for best results, use vmware workstation 7.1.4 or player 3.1.4 if you are running build 5231 or earlier. For 5259-5284, any version should work. For 5212-5231(also works for 5048) 1. After you installed the drivers, go to regedit, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\DWM. (if the DWM key does not exist, create it.)

2. Create a DWORD key named EnableMachineCheck and set its value to 0. Log off and back on and Aero should be already enabled.

For 5259-5284

1. Go to regedit, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\DWM (again, create DWM key if it's not there).

2. Create a DWORD key named UseMachineCheck and set its value to 0. Log off and back on. Aero should be enabled now, if you installed the drivers.


You can use these DWORDs in the DWM key you created to get various effects.

Blur - set it to 0 to disable blur, else set it to 1.

BlurSigma(5212-5270 only) - set it to a decimal value between 1 and 30, depending on the value it will control the blur intensity. If set to a value out of the 1-30 range, it will disable transparency and make borders black.

Animations- set it to 1 to enable aero animation effects, else set it to 0.

AnimationsShiftKey - set it to 1, to be able to press Shift key during animations to slow them down.

RenderClientAreaOnly - setting it to 1 will cause the window borders and titlebars to disappear, use with care!


1.Aero is still not working!

You are either using wrong drivers or you did not install any drivers. WDDM drivers will not work as LDDM is NOT the same with WDDM. You need to install an XP driver. Also note that aero cannot be enabled in 5112 in vmware or any other virtualization software. You need real hardware, including a LDDM compatible video card for 5112 aero.

2.My taskbar is still not transparent tough the windows are!

If you are using build 5212, this is normal.

3.Aero lags.

In builds 5231 and earlier, there is a bug causing Aero animations to lag. The only workaround that may work is to stop uxss.exe from task manager, it will restart automatically. Builds 5259 and newer don't have this bug.

4. Flip3D is not working.

If you are using build 5219 or 5212, Flip3D is activated via Win+Spacebar, rather than Win+Tab(in all newer builds).