Pixelated Screen and Graphical Issues

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by TempestBread, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. TempestBread macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    At first look, the title probably gives this away to sound like a hardware issue. Normally, that would be my thoughts as well. However, after some troubleshooting, it is my assumption that this could actually be a software related problem. More specifically, an issue with a corrupt User profile.

    Here is a screen shot of the issue (note: this is very light for the problem): http://i.imgur.com/wCMmRgE.jpg

    Usually, these squares are present at all times, but very light after a reboot. This problem first began a few months ago and I figured that I resolved it with a call to AppleCare. They told me how to do a PRAM and SMC reset and so I did. This fixed the issue, but it wasn't because of the resets. It was merely restarting the computer that fixed it. It would come up and I'd do a reset again and it would go away. Then frequency increased in its occurrence and now it's almost always present.

    If I want a surefire way to trigger the event, I can close my 15" MacBook Pro (early 2011, running Mac OS 10.6.8), without powering it down and let it sleep for an extended amount of time (usually many hours). When I open it back up, the screen will be heavily distorted. What's worse, for some reason, if I use Exposé, my screen will completely freeze, resulting in me having to do a hard restart.

    There are a couple of issues that make me think this is software related.

    1. Notice in this screen shot: http://i.imgur.com/ydsRY4s.jpg that the squares are not on the front of the screen, and that I can actually cover them up with another window. This makes me believe there is nothing wrong with my display.

    2. When my screen freezes up after pressing the Exposé button, my cursor remains active and able to move around the screen. It remains unfrozen.

    3. I partitioned my hard drive and installed a clean version of OS X from the disc that came with my machine. On this partition and user account, the graphics issue was never present.

    4. I created an additional user on the same partition that had the corrupt user account in question, and there were no issues.

    5. I verified my hard drive disk and disk permission. No issues present.

    6. I ran a regular and extended Apple Hardware Test. No issues found.

    7. Merely to humour an AppleCare Technician, I backed-up my entire hard drive to an external hard drive then installed my OS from the disc and migrated everything with TimeMachine. The issue is still present, as would be expected.

    So, sending my laptop away to get repaired is a last resort for me. Just behind it, is doing a clean install of my OS without migrating. I have A LOT of applications that I do not wish to lose.

    Is there anything else I could try or has anyone seen/heard of this type of issue before? I was thinking that I could delete some .plist files, but I do not know enough about it.

    If you read all of this, thank you.
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    You say that a new user account did not have the problem. In that case, don't migrate your user settings. (Or start removing files from user Library and testing whether their absence improves matters. Replace if no change.)

    You have a Time Machine backup. What will you lose?
  3. TempestBread thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    I wouldn't know which files to remove in my Library to get any effect.
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    1. Remove HALF of them.
    2. Test the problem.
    3. If the problem remains, put back the files you removed, and remove the other half.
    4. If the problem is fixed, put back HALF of the files you removed.
    5. Test the problem.
    6. Rinse, and repeat.

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