An issue while applying a saved theme in the display properties on a Windows XP system may cause the menu items on the menu bar to turn white or display a white border while or after the cursor passes over. This applies only to the Windows XP and Media Center appearance themes.

Comparison of the normal menu bar and the menu bar with the white boxes.

I accidently found a fix for this problem while playing around with the display properties.

  1. Open the display properties. Select and apply your theme.
  2. Click on the appearance tab and change the “windows and buttons” drop down menu to “Windows Classic style.” Click apply.
  3. After the settings take place, change the style back to Windows XP (or Media Center), select your preferred color scheme and click OK. The white boxes behind the menu items will be gone.