From what I can see this problem has been around since at least
September 2008 and most people have concluded that it has something to
do with the themes chosen. (Apparently this mostly happens to people who
use the "Windows Classic" or "Windows Standard" themes.
It doesn't happen in safe mode which indicates that the problem is in
one of the processes or files that normal Windows uses. So I checked my
theme and it said "Windows Classic (modified)". Changed it to Windows
Classic, started IE8 and the black bars where still there. Checked
themes selection again and once more it showed a modified "Windows
I searched and searched until I found what I think is the best
permanent solution. It's not my idea but came from someone named
Here's the procedure: Click start, control panel, administrative tools,
services. That brings up the "Services" list. Scroll down to "themes",
single click it. Click the "stop" option, double click "themes" which
opens the properties window. Change "automatic" to "manual".
If you use 3rd party themes and you have the problem click the
dependancies tab and check if anything uses this service. If your's
does, then this may not work for you. In that case just set it back to
start and change back to "automatic".
Here's *ikke1*'s post (near the bottom):
I can't register or join all of the forums this problem is asked about,
so if it works for you please spread the word and give credit to