I’ve found a fix for this problem, which has also fixed another longstanding problem I had all the way through CIS 8 that persisted with CIS 10.
To recap the problems:
With CIS 10 installed and most/all modules active, my computer started/re-started with only a basic desktop theme, all Aero themes unavailable.
With all CIS 8 versions as well as CIS 10, if I logged in promptly on start/re-start, at the end of logging in and everything finished starting I would get a message that Comodo had failed to start, would I like to run the Comodo diagnostic tool?. The diagnostic would report no problems and I’d then have to start Comodo manually. However, If after reaching the logon screen I left it for 3 minutes before logging on, Comodo would have started properly after the logon.
Problem 2 I’ve been living with since starting using CIS 8. But problem 1 was so bad I gave up, uninstalled Comodo, looked through other AV products and installed one.
However, I wasn’t really happy with my replacement and found myself thinking about the Comodo problem some more. Problem 2 seemed to indicate that at the point that Comodo was starting, either something else starting at the same time was interfering with the Comodo start, or something else hadn’t started yet that Comodo needed to have started first. And following that thought, it seemed to me that problem 1 might be that Comodo starting when it did was interfering with the startup of the desktop theme manager.
If that was the case - and I remembered that some of the other Firewall and AV programs I’ve used before had configuration options to delay startup at logon to resolve conflicts, although I’d never needed to use those options with them, but clearly this meant this was a possible problem with this kind of software - then it occurred to me that if I could somehow take control of the order of programs starting at logon and delay Comodo’s start it might resolve the problems. Couldn’t find a way to control the startup order within Windows 7, so thought that somebody would have written a utility to do it, Googled and found the program Startup Delayer by r2 Studios - which has a free version, or one can pay to activate a few extra facilities. Free version is fine for this CIS situation.
So I read the documentation, uninstalled my new AV program, reinstalled CIS 10. Problems 1 and 2 still there with CIS 10 as expected. Installed Startup Delayer, opened up its configuration. In the list of startup applications, dragged CIS 10 up to the list (otherwise empty) of programs to have their startup delayed by Startup Delayer. Then opened the Options, Launch Process pane, ticked the option ‘Ensure these processes have completely loaded before continuing’ and added dwm.exe as the only entry in that list.
Done, restarted computer and CIS 10 now fine after start/re-start - desktop normal, Aero theme as normal, and CIS 10 also starts properly even after I logon as soon as the logon screen appears which it never has since I started using CIS 8 a couple of year ago.
To recap problems AND solution:
Left to itself, there was a problem of CIS 10 startup interfering with the desktop window manager startup, causing the computer to start with a basic, non-Aero theme and with the theme manager unavailable. Further conflict at startup prevented CIS itself starting properly requiring manual start of CIS at the end of the startup leaving myself connected to the internet for a little bit of time before CIS had fully started.
Using r2 Studios free Startup Delayer (or probably other utilities - that’s just the first likely looking one I found googling) to take control of CIS 10 startup and have the CIS startup wait until after the dwm.exe had finished loading solved both problems. Desktop themes back to normal, and CIS successfully loading and running fully well before internet connection made.
Problem solved, so I can now carry on using CIS 10 (although i have one remaining problem over the effect CIS 10 has on browsing pages with Flash or Silverlight content).
I am, however, not feeling well-disposed towards the people who create CIS10 over this. I had to diagnose this myself, hypothesise the cause of the problem myself, figure a possible solution in term of needing additional 3rd party software of a kind I’d never seen before (not having had reason before to need it) myself, google and find the needed software myself and check its probity, install and then figure out how to configure it myself. If CIS 10 was professional software of the robustness to be expected of professional software, it should itself contain measures to avoid startup timing conflicts. Or, at the very least, contain a configuration option to delay its startup a little, as certain other firewall and AV products I’ve used had, specifically to overcome problems over startup order clashes like this, with appropriate documentation so a user with problems like this will find the cause and action to take (select the option to delay startup) within the product’s documentation. Here, with CIS, there’s no option to deal with the problem within the program, no help in the documentation, and no help here in these support forums either that I could find through search, or offered in response to my posts. Very poor show.