Graphic card issue? What is this called?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by carriesn, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. carriesn, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    carriesn macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2008
    Take a gander at the picture. Three of my lab imacs suddenly started showing this. CLARIFICATION: they didnt start at exactly the same time. Maybe within two days of each other.

    Ive been able to narrow the occurences to full screen use. It happens whenever using Photo Booth, Type to Learn 4 (a typing program that forces full screen), and some games on Safari (when in full screen). Happens when using Firefox also so its likely not a browser problem.

    I also recalled that I updated the flash player pretty close to around the time this problem started to occur. However, Photobooth and TTL4 do not use Flash so that logically shouldnt be the problem. I can't uninstall Flash because my students rely on some web subscription sites that must have Flash installed.

    iMac #1 is Mt Lion, iMac #2 and #3 is Lion. Ran hardware test (extended) and nothing came up.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance...


  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    If all of them had this happen at the same time I'm gonna say it's not a hardware problem.
  3. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    If they all had this problem at the same time, could there have been a power surge or other glitch with the power?
    Not sure this will work, but you could try resetting the SMC:

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
    3. Wait fifteen seconds.
    4. Attach the computer's power cord.
    5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.

    Also, you can try resetting the NVRAM (PRAM):

    1. Start the computer.
    2. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
    3. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    4. Release the keys.

    If this doesn't work, do you have a backup, such as Time Machine, that you can go back to a date prior to this occurrence with those iMacs?
  4. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
  5. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
  6. Jesla macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2013
    Tennessee USA
    Naw….all you gotta do is boot it during a solar eclipse…..

    Glad we could narrow down for you though…. :p
  7. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2008
    For multiple computers to have the same hardware problem the chances would be extremely low. It's got to be software or drivers. Did you install something on them? A software update or driver maybe?
  8. throAU, Jul 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Why not? They're in the same environment, on the same power grid, and could have been exposed to the same/similar power supply or thermal issues (both due to temperature and/or possible fan problems due to dust/debris/etc?

    I'd say it's actually MORE likely to be hardware, given the multiple versions of OS X in use with the same problem in the same environment. Also, if you're in the northern hemisphere, it is now just past the middle of summer, and any heat related problems (e.g., GPU cooked) will be most likely to have occurred right about now.

    It looks like broken video memory or a broken GPU to me.

    If it was in any way related to flash, you'd see posts all over the internet about it.

    As far as apple hardware test goes - I don't believe it tests GPUs....
  9. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    I would say that it is not GPU related. Only because the curtains in Photobooth are visible, and the menu items are visible. It looks more like a video overlay / driver problem. If the entire screen was corrupt, then a hardware issue would be more likely.

    A simple way to test would be to create an additional partition on the drive and do a clean install of 10.8.4 on the new partition. Install ONLY the Apple updates and see the issue pops up again.
  10. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013

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