When I go into the display properties on a customer's machine, all the tabs are missing and the window construction isn't quite right. I can control-tab between them, and if I change the Windows theme they half re-appear (as in, you can see the top halves of the tabs), and if I select them they completely re-appear but then the bottom part of the window doesn't look quite right. Display properties > Settings > Advanced also has missing tabs.
I'm in as admin, I've re-applied SP3, reinstalled latest nvidia driver (GeForce 8400GS PCI-E), uninstalled it, re-installed it, etc. All system drivers have been reinstalled also.
Also, nvidia's nview control panel applet comes up with a bit in the corner mentioning version conflicts. Clicking on that says that nvcpl.dll and nvwddi.dll isn't the same version (86.18) as the others (121 something), and one exe shows as being missing. I tried checking for these files when the nvidia drivers are uninstalled but they're not there.
When the nvidia drivers are uninstalled, the display properties tabs are still not right (in the same way). Filemon/regmon/procmon doesn't show anything obviously wrong. The problem is present in safe mode also.
Bit of background to the situation - I built a machine for a customer over a year ago, and recently it came up with saying that the SYSTEM registry file was missing or corrupt. The customer tried to fix this problem themselves by doing a repair install which screwed up halfway through. I used a registry backup from back when I first set up the machine to recover it, however the machine started with SP2, SP3 had been installed since, and the customer's failed repair install also would have version conflicts all over the shop. Re: file corruption - I've done a full filesystem check, no problems there. Perhaps that problem would have been resolved via chkdsk /p at the recovery console, but there's no way to know now. I'll probably run Seagate Tools on the disk to be sure it is ok, but I'm pretty sure of that already.
_________________My PC spec