28 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2010 3:20 PM by caligula1

    Flashing monitor in CS5

    cesspool13 Level 1



      I need some help. I am using photoshop CS5 design premium. My OS is 10.6.4.  These are the specs for my mac pro.

        Model Identifier: MacPro3,1

        Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon

        Processor Speed: 3.2 GHz

        Number Of Processors: 2

        Total Number Of Cores: 8

        L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB

        Memory: 16 GB

        Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz

        Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B05

        SMC Version (system): 1.25f4

        Hardware UUID: 0613ACB3-FECF-5AE8-9CBA-353B667E52A0

      The video card is NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT


      The monitor is a 30 inch cinema display.


      I am having a strange issue in photoshop. After a few hours of using photoshop CS5 the monitor starts flashing a greyscale pattern over the entire monitor. The pattern is a banded pattern that starts at light grey at the top of the monitor and goes toward black at the bottom. It is semi-transparent and I can see through it to the file and desktop beneath the pattern. The pattern pulsates very fast and is kind of hypnotic. The pattern does not go away and I  quickly get the dreaded spinning beach ball and there is no way to escape from it without manually shutting down the computer as I can't  force quit photoshop or move out of photoshop.  Other times when I double click on a psd file to open in photoshop, the file appears scrambled and I can see the palettes inside of it all jumbled up, but this doesn't happen too frequently and more often I get the flashing gradient pattern that goes from black to white that I described earlier. The problem occurs on different files and is not confined to one user. It can start from asking photoshop to do the simplest thing like duplicate a file or create a new document.


      These are the steps I have taken so far:

      I have had Apple replace the video card but the problem still reoccurs. I have uninstalled and reinstalled CS5 and that did not solve the issue. I have run an extended hardware test which my computer passed. I have installed the update to photoshop which came out last week.

      I think it is called 12.0.1.


      The technician who replaced the video card mentioned that Adobe still uses an older technology that scrambles the files all over the computer. I am wondering if this is causing the problem.


      What can I do? I am desperate. Adobe does not acknowledge the problem when I call or blames it on a faulty video card. The problem only occurs when I run Adobe CS5. It did not occur in CS3 which I owned before upgrading.


      Please help. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
          gator soup Level 4

          This is being discussed in the Apple 10.6 forum, it appears to be another Apple bug (sigh)...one user posted youtube video (cry, cry, cry for the lost time)...

          • 2. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
            cesspool13 Level 1

            Could you post a link to the discussion? I am trying to find it in Apple forums. I thought I was the only one who was having this issue. Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
              gator soup Level 4

              I just spent time looking for it, too, no luck, but I did

              see it recently and the video

              (the monitor flashed on and off in what would best be described as toatal wierdness)


              you are not the only one, I saw it my self here not too long ago on my 30" Apple screen only parts of my screen were blinking though




              you should post a video and make sure key word searches will hit it

              1 person found this helpful
              • 5. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                cesspool13 Level 1

                Thanks for looking. I don't have a video recorder so can't post to you tube.

                • 6. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                  Level 4

                  cesspool13 wrote:


                  Thanks for looking. I don't have a video recorder…


                  You don't need a camcorder.  "Jing" is free softwrae:



                  • 7. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                    cesspool13 Level 1

                    Some how I feel the flashing monitor issue is just related to photoshop as it never occurs in other software applications and only photoshop.

                    I will try to download jng and post a video. Thanks.

                    • 8. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

                      I have the same issue.


                      My Mac Pro tower is essentially the same except 8x3.0 and only 8 gigs ram, but with same NVIDIA 8800 card and Photoshop CS5.


                      Is maddening as whole machine is overwhelmed, no way to force quit Photoshop or to report bug. Must hard restart machine.


                      I did not suffer this until I updated to Photoshop 12.01 yesterday.


                      If your video card is faulty mine is too, I doubt it is a hardware problem. Funny thing it works fine in all other applications.

                      • 9. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                        Level 7

                        You updated to MacOS 10.6.4 - which has a set of bugs on NVidia graphics cards that causes flashing, slowdowns, and crashes.

                        Downgrading to 10.6.3 is your only choice until Apple gets a fix released.


                        Why only in Photoshop?  Because that's the only application you're running that uses OpenGL.  Other OpenGL apps see the same problems (some games see even worse).

                        • 10. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                          cesspool13 Level 1
                          Someone on the retouchpro forums told me that the NVIDIA 8800 card is pretty weak to run Open GL. This is what they posted.
                          It's actually a pretty weak card (at least in terms of OpenGL). Adobe engineers recommend at least 1GB of ram on the vid card, and capable of DirectX 11 (it doesn't actually use DirectX, but the internal hardware is the same for OpenGL). More is better. Especially for that monster monitor. The recommended config for that monitor is 2 highend graphics cards linked together, or one of the newest ones with multiple internal pipelines.


                          I know these specs are much higher than the specs on the Adobe sales page, but they also recommend 1GB of computer ram, so compare that to reality and that's the same disparity from their vidcard recommendations.
                          I called Apple about the problem today and they had me do an archive and reinstall. So far I am not having the issue but it usually takes a few days for it to occur. Apple tier two technical support does not think it is the card and are wondering if it is the motherboard.
                          • 11. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                            cesspool13 Level 1

                            Chris, Can you direct me to where you found that info on bugs in OS 10.6.4 that effect the video card? I think I was having the problem before when the OS was 10.6.3. Thanks a lot.

                            • 12. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                              Level 7

                              I found the info because we reported the bugs to Apple the day after 10.6.4 came out.


                              We didn't have any repeatable problems with flashing displays prior to 10.6.4 -- just a handful of people with bad video cards.

                              • 13. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                ddimick Level 1

                                Thanks so much, so if one wants to solve the problem quickly would the NVidia GTX 285 video card to replace the Nvidia 8800 do the job?


                                Am doing multi-image 1-1.5 gb image merge panoramas in Photoshop CS 5 from a Canon 5D Mark II, and am now able to consistently produce clean errorless panos in CS5 (save this new screen flash problem) when CS4 always would freeze or crash with errors. (PS CS4 was always quite worthless trying to assemble multi-image panoramas at full res from a 5D MKII.)


                                I just need to move ahead and if it means replacing the video card to keep the work moving so be it. Apple sells the GTX 285 for $449.


                                Or is there any recon on Apple planning imminently to ship an Nvidia driver update for Macs as it just did for the new mini?


                                tnx insights

                                • 14. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                  ddimick Level 1

                                  my error the driver updates for the mini apparently were for ATI cards.

                                  • 15. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                    cesspool13 Level 1

                                    I actually have no idea as I have little knowledge of cards and little technological prowess. I did an archive and reinstall which Apple tech support suggested. If that doesn't work then I can see that  a clean install of the OS is next. So far since the archive and install  I am not having problems, but that was done a few hours ago and I am just waiting for the issue to reoccur as it usually takes a while to begin and then increases in frequency.


                                    If that doesn't work I will probably try reverting back to OS 10.6.3 as Chris Cox, the Adobe employee, suggested before I go out and spend money on a video card which for me is a last resort measure. Someone on Retouchpro suggested replacing the card with some others. Here is a link to the discussion.http://http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/hardware/30353-flashing-monitor-cs5.html Apple tier 2 technical support also told me that something is perhaps wrong with my motherboard, but they seem not very informed or aware of this issue. So far Apple tier 2 technical support does not believe the issue is being caused by my card.

                                    • 16. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                      Level 7

                                      when CS4 always would freeze or crash with errors. (PS CS4 was always quite worthless trying to assemble multi-image panoramas at full res from a 5D MKII.)

                                      That is odd as well, because the most common crashers in Photoshop 11.0.1 and later were Apple bugs in QuickDraw.

                                      And we never saw any instability like you are describing.


                                      We won't be able to give you an ETA on an Apple driver fix until Apple announces it.

                                      • 17. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                        cesspool13 Level 1

                                        One thing I have been wondering is who updates the drivers for NVIDA cards? I can't seem to find an update for the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT on their website so am wondering if they are included in Apple system updates? My question is who provides driver updates Apple or NIVDIA?

                                        • 18. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                          Level 7

                                          Driver updates on MacOS come from Apple, usually along with OS updates.

                                          • 19. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

                                            Don't waste the money as it is happening on both my MP with the GTX285 and MP with the 9600m/9400m. I would roll back to 10.6.3 and wait. Might take you a couple hours to reinstall the OS or quicker if you have a recent clone or Time Machine backup (prior to updating to 10.6.4), but if you have work to do it's the best option at present.

                                            • 20. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                              caligula1 Level 1

                                              Well I did revert the OS back to10.6.3. That seemed to solve the flashing freezing monitor problem, but now I am having another issue that I suspect is also related to the video card or the OS.


                                              Sometimes when I press a keyboard shortcut the image will zoom in or out for no apparent reason. I am not pressing keyboard short cuts for zooming, but ones that resize the brush or clone stamp tool or control the hardness. If I press L for lasso tool or P for pen tool the image sometimes also zooms in or out. The image sometimes zooms from 100% to 800%. It is very unpredictable and this behavior makes photoshop kind of "jumpy".


                                              I have open GL enabled and I am letting photoshop use 1680 MB. I am using a wacom intuitos 4.


                                              Any help please? Thanks.

                                              • 21. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                Jeffrey Tranberry Adobe Employee

                                                Install the Snow Leopard Graphics Update for 10.6.4 corrects the nVidia driver issue:



                                                • 22. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                  caligula1 Level 1

                                                  Thank you very much!

                                                  • 23. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                    Rick McCleary Level 3

                                                    Thanks for your info, Jeff.


                                                    But to be sure of what you're saying:

                                                    Is it a fact that the SL Graphics Update for 10.6.4 fixes the nVidia driver issue for the nVidia GeForce 8800 video card in the MacPro3,1 (Early 2008)?


                                                    I have not upgraded to 10.6.4 (still running 10.6.3) because of all the reports of problems floating around the forum. I'm skeptical that the Graphics Update addresses the issue on my machine because Apple does not list the MacPro (Early 2008) as one of the devices affected by the Graphics Update.


                                                    Can you clear up the confusion?



                                                    • 24. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                      Level 7

                                                      The Apple Graphics Update does appear to fix the NVidia driver problems introduced in 10.6.4.

                                                      Apple didn't have room to list all the models and cards affected (it's a very long list).

                                                      • 25. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5

                                                        I'm running a mac pro with an 8800 card and 10.6.4 and PS CS5 12.0.1.  I'm not seeing this problem.  I just finished a bunch of production work and left PS and other programs running for about 6 days before I saw problems.  There are a few observable PS 'bugs' that are repeatable but overall things seem very stable.  I was scanning using Vuescan, using Bridge and PS as well as email, Safari plus other software as a test.  On purpose not paying attention to the ecology of the situation and I didn't lose any work.  PS finally quit responding after 6 days but I believe it was a Vuescan issue.

                                                        • 26. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                          Rick McCleary Level 3

                                                          Chris and Larry -


                                                          Thanks for the responses.

                                                          This gives me the confidence to go ahead with the 10.6.4 update.



                                                          • 27. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                            caligula1 Level 1

                                                            I installed the  the Snow Leopard Graphics Update for 10.6.4. The issue did not reoccur for one day, but now it is happening very frequently. Just pressing the P key for pen tool can trigger the image to suddenly zoom from 100% to a level where I can see the pixel grid. Sometimes I think the image even zooms in on its own with out my pressing any keys.


                                                            This is kind of driving me crazy and seems like a major bug! I can't wait for OS 10.6.5 to come out.


                                                            • 28. Re: Flashing monitor in CS5
                                                              caligula1 Level 1

                                                              Chris and Jeffrey, any help  please. Since my last post I have tested photoshop in a new user and the issue is not confined to one user. I have also disabled open GL and the issue still occurs. Thanks.