Aero disabled when external display removed

Hi all-
I've been having some trouble with my external display lately. For some reason, my PC has a reliance upon it to display Aero themes - when it is removed, Windows Basic comes into play. When it is reattached, the screen (on my PC) flickers and Aero returns. Any idea what could be causing this? The display is a Dell E176FP, not necessarily important, but I would like to have Aero without always having my laptop connected to it. I should probably also mention that this first occurred after a crash on battery power without the monitor attached. I was trying to resume from sleep and I think my graphics card gave out. Anyway, I hope there's some solution or I'll have to system restore...again.

Specs: Lenovo Ideapad Y560
Core i7, ATI Radeon 5730

Thanks for your help.

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