OK, I like having my Windows 7 Taskbar always on top. This way, even when I have other program windows maximized, I can see small thumbnail images of all open windows in all open programs. (I can even pause and stop media players without restoring or maximizing the windows -- very nice!) Also, my Google Desktop is always available, "hidden" behind the right side of my monitor, but ready to pop out when the mouse passes over the right side of the screen.
Lately (after installing something or something updated, no doubt), the Taskbar is behaving differently, and so is Google Desktop. The Windows Taskbar is still "on top" at the bottom of my screen, but when I pass the mouse over the open program icons, I no longer see the thumbnails of open windows (although it sometimes appears that they are there behind the front window), and after a second or two, I sometimes see the tooltip text balloon appear over the area where the thumbnail would have been. I can click on the Taskbar and give it the focus so then it's on top, and it works like it should, but I didn't have to do that before, and I don't want to have to do that every time I need it.
At the same time the Windows Taskbar stopped working properly, so did Google Desktop. It is no longer always available "behind" the right side of my screen. The mouse will no longer bring out the sidebar like it used to, but instead, I have to bring up some other aspect of the program, like "add gadgets" or "about" and then it becomes available on the side of the screen. This is very inconvenient.
I have already tried adjusting the "auto hide" feature of the taskbar, and that is not the solution. I never used "auto hide" before, but the very first thing I tried to fix this issue was selecting and then deselecting it, but it made no difference. The problem is still there.
I'm thinking this is a bug, possibly a change in the registry or something, caused by some update or install. Even though Microsoft has removed the "always on top" feature from the options menu of the Taskbar, I know the feature must still be there in the background somewhere.
By the way, I have been using an Aero theme the entire time.
Hope the Experts here can help!