Server 2012R2 Basic Theme color issue

I have one Server 2012R2 VM that serves as a Session Host for RemoteApps on which the Windows Basic Theme colors have become corrupted. On some Windows text is being display as Yellow on a White background making it almost impossible to read. This is applied to Console and RemoteApp sessions. No changes were made to the theme colors, they just appeared differently one day.

Comparing the Registry entries that control color and themes between this server and other identical servers in the same farm shows every entry identical.
HKCU\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes
HKCU\Control Panel\Colors
HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors
HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes
HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors
Is there another Registry entry I am overlooking?

Comparing aerolite.msstyle and .theme files in C:\Windows\Resources between identical servers reveals no difference but yet colors are being displayed completely different.
It was suggested that I apply another Theme to the server, then reapply the Basic theme, which I did; yet no resolution to the issue.

I have attached a screenshot of the corrupt Basic theme's display.

Does anyone have insight into what might correct this problem, other than rebuilding the box? I would also like to know what caused the issue so I can take measures to avoid this issue in the future.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Log into the serer12r2 as (at least) admin... the path is control panel, all control panel items, color, color and appearance... what is the color scheme set on?
Screenshot (11).png

if a different setting is placed in this box then it happens auto and doesn't wait for a ok or apply buttion to update... eg, the screenshot you posted looks like the standard "high contrast #1"... notice the time is displayed in yellow... simply put it back onto "windows basic" (as screenshot above) or pick new colours

Screenshot (10).png

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The theme is set to Windows Basic Theme. I can change the themes to High Contrast and those themes appear as they should. My issue is the Windows Basic theme is displaying colors as shown in the screenshot; the colors have been altered, even though all of the registry settings are identical to servers which display their colors correctly.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
You can't edit the windows basic scheme so the server files are probably corrupted… I have personally only seen this happen once when some bright git installed a colour checker onto the sever for his Japanese cartoon printer (the Japs use a completely different {imo superior} colour set for their printers) and the only fix on a physical server is a re-format/ install… of course a V-server can be rolled back to a snap-shot state that preexists the error.

As a work around; you could change to one of the high contrast options as they allow you to edit the colour mix… you still can't make an exact copy of the protected/ patented "windows basic" but at least you don't have to have light yellow text.

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