I am a new participant to the forums but am really hoping someone can help me out. I have been searching every phrasing I can think of on the web with no results for my partilucar problem.
I am having a bizzare transparency issue with my system. It does not appear to be restricted only to the CS3 suite but it is definitely the worst in the CS3 programs. I use Illustrator and Photoshop the most and this problem makes them very difficult and sometimes almost impossible to use.
As best as I can tell there is some kind of transparency glitch that is causing certain programs to "black out" areas of the menu that are supposed to have transparency of some fashion in a programs menu or interface. For example in Illustrator the tools menu and the contextual menu that runs atop the screen appear to be OK when you first open the program. They will function normally and will respond to all menu choices. However if you move the mouse over the AI logo on the top of the tool menu or run the mouse over the small bar to the far left of the top screen menu ALL the menus on the screen will turn into a solid black bar. You can move the mouse over tool icons etc and almost all of them will reappear, but with a black border around them. Most of the top contextual menus will also appear once again on a mouse over, or if they change due to making a tool choice that modifies what this menu contains. They also have this black box around the entire meny as well. There are a few other small places on the menus that I can't pin point that will make this black box appearance happen as well.
Also a second and even bigger issue is with the tool pallettes such as layers, character, transparency and swatches etc. I use a dual monitor setup and have my palettes moved to the second screen. Within in seconds of loading all the top gray bars on the pallettes turn transparent and you can not select them to move them around, change the focus of the palette or to select "more options" or other modifications. The palette itself is still there, it's the top poriton that is missing. The system does not respond to any attempt to select this area, it's as if they weren't there, however you do see the drop shadow that surrounds the palette, including the part that is missing. I can open the window menu and remove and then add a pallette back onto the screen and it will have the top portion once again. At this point I can drag this "fixed" window over the other top portions and they will appear again (I am assuming because the program is enganing the dock palette together ability). This will sometimes fix it for the rest of the time I'm using the software or sometimes for a long time and then it will suddently make all the top portions of the pallette transparent again and I'll have to repeat. This happens in Illustrator or Photoshop and any of the CS3 products as best as I can tell. I have been able to get around it so far, but it's very difficult to work with and some of the options and ways I work are really affected by this. It's also nearly impossible for me to miss not mousing over one of the areas that trigger this issue as they are in common mouse path areas.
I have completely reformatted my computer because of this, I have tried reinstalling video card drives, installing older video card drivers. I have installed my CS3 suite from the desktop per the Adobe troubleshooting guidlines as opposed to the DVDs. I completely removed the plug-ins I was using (only using 1, Font Agent Pro). I do not have any non-standard fonts installed on my computer, I deactivate all fonts other than system fonts every time I exit Font Agent Pro. I have had this issue with an older set of video cards as well as my current ones (both Nvidia). I have upgraded my system since it first started happening to almost completely new hardware (the only pieces of hardware still in use is the old hard drive, everything else in different from when the issue first showed up).
The only vague ideas I have so far are that maybe is has something to do with my Nvidia cards? I am running a dual video card setup because I use the system for games from time to time as well. I have tried uninstalling a card and using just a single card to see if that helps with no improvement though. I have also noted that while 90% of the rest of my software works without a hitch, I also use Quicken and notice that some of it's menus and opening graphic display a similar black box issue. All software seems to function fine as long as I can actually find a way to select the missing tools. It also does not effect the actual artwork. No transparency settings or playing around with any kind of artwork, even complex art, causes my actual work to display black boxes or have transparency issues, it's only the menus of the programs.
I realize that this is most likely not a CS3 specific issue, but I am really hoping someone else has come across something like this and can help. I can't find anything at all on even what to try next. After I wiped and then re-installed the video card drivers the problem seemed to be fixed for about the next 3 times of starting Windows. Then on the 4th time it suddenly blanked the menus out on Photoshop and ever since it's been back to the same old thing. Because of this I am suspecting problems with bad video drivers or settings, but can't find any information on what can be done about it. I can also turn the hardware accelration bar down to almost nothing on the troublshooting section of my video card properties and make the problem go away (to the point where it says Disable all Direct Draw and Direct 3D accelerations). My system is not really usable at this level though and many programs will not start or give errors so I can't use this as a solution.
I aplogize for such a lengthy post, thanks to anyone who took the time to read this. I can attach a screen shot if someone needs to see the issue. If anyone has any info at all please let me know. Even if it's just leads on where to look. I am having a hard time getting some client work done because of this issue and it has me worried that my software might become unusable at a critical moment. Just for the record as well, I am using the CS3 Master collection software and it is fully registed and legitimate. Thank you for you assistance in advance!