There have been a few posts through the years with people having problems with Zone Alarm not allowing the Windows Classic Taskbar to remain when rebooting XP. It tends to be an intermittent problem that is annoying to a lot of users. They set up their desktop with the Classic Toolbar and are forced to constantly reset it since the default XP Taskbar keeps coming up instead.

Unfortunately no one knew of a solution on these boards but it was obvious Zone Alarm ( and a few other Security Suites) were causing it.

I finally found a solution that fixes it so I thought I would post it here in case others have this problem and search this board for a fix.

Here’s the Fix:

If you are also using the Windows Classic theme, disable the Themes service.

Classic will work fine without the Themes service, other themes need it.

Open Services...
Start | Run | Type: services.msc | Click OK |
Scroll down to and double click Themes | Click the V next to Startup type |
Select Disabled | Click the Apply button | Click the Stop button |
When the Themes service has stopped, click OK | Close Services

Doing this fixes the problem once and for all and ends the annoying behavior of having your desktop theme reset itself constantly. The fix will not effect the Wallpaper you have chosen or other aspects of your customized desktop. It just keeps the Classic Taskbar from being constantly replaced by the Default XP taskbar.