Corrupted icons and OSX video playback

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gyroscope
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Corrupted icons and OSX video playback

Post by gyroscope » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:55 am

Hi, it'd be excellent if someone could help me out here:

I use an iMac G5 (second gen, I think), OSX 10.4.11. All of a sudden, the pointer icon has a square of black ticks, the pointer icon in the top left corner. The dock is covered by black pixels, and any icons not affected, as soon as I click on them, they also have black dots. The finder menu bar is "infected" the same.

Image


Anywhere where there isn't an icon on the background desktop image is unaffected. Some Save as... boxes (Grap app, for instance) are affected, covered with black ticks or dots. Quicktime videos look terrible, covered with these black ticks and/or dots.

I've done a total reinstall of OSX 10.4.11, zapped the PRAM, googled for viruses, or if this is a known problem without success. I'm really hoping it's a System file corruption problem and not any video-connected hardware stuff... (the fact that despite the still corrupted pointer/insertion icon wandering over Safari, all web pages are fine, gives me hope that it's the former...)

I'm a bit reticent (as well as trying to be an educated guesser only) when it comes to the System Folder, so I think it's best I follow someone's advice who knows what they're talking about...

Does anyone know how to solve this please?
:(

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Post by Janschenkel » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:32 am

This looks like a problem with your video card or driver. I have an iMac G5, and have seen a similar problem when I played Warcraft for several hours straight (no, I'm not 14 but I like to immerse myself in a game once a month :-) )
At such times, I've found that the iMac is running very hot and the best solution is to just turn it off and leave it alone for a bit. Googling the words "imac g5 video problem" turned up a few hits, so you may want to look into those.

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Post by gyroscope » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:58 pm

Thanks for your reply Jan.
like to immerse myself in a game once a month
Hey, nothing wrong with that!! (I've been on my Playstation again the past week or so, playing Syberia, now playing Syberia 2; game-playing brushes the cobwebs away, I'm sure you'll agree)
This looks like a problem with your video card....
Eek, hope not!
... or driver
Might you know please Jan, where the video card software driver lives in the System folder?

No matter how long I leave the computer shut down, the problem still remains. I've "re-googled (!)" to try to find info again but no success. There seems to be a problem with video cards on my gen Imac mentioned on the web but this is vertical lines appearing....

My thinking is it must be a software prob, otherwise everything on the screen would be affected...it's still odd to me that replacing the system didn't cure the problem, but I guess updating (or swapping in my case) OSX leaves certain preferences files, etc, alone. (I tried deleting the finder preferences as well, with no success)

Hmm, if you or anyone else have any thoughts on this I'd be grateful to hear them.

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Post by Lynn P. » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:31 pm

There are a few more things you could try before concluding it's a hardware problem.

1. It appears you have a black desktop. What happens if you change the desktop to any of the Apple provided ones in System Preferences->Desktop & Screen Saver?

2. Use Apple's Disk Utility to Repair Permissions.

3. Create a new User in System Preferences ->Accounts. Does the same thing happens with the new account?

4. Do you have any third party apps running that would affect the System? They will appear at the bottom of the System Preferences panel.
Turn them off or trash them.

*With each of the 4 suggestions above, I would shut down completely (not just Restart) and then start up again after the change. Many low level changes only take place when doing this and sometimes a Restart doesn't work. It takes shutting down completely, then starting up fresh.

5. Use the Apple Hardware Test disk that came with your Mac to see if it picks up a hardware problem.

6. Last resort is to do a back up, then re-install after wiping the disk first (not just an Archive and re-install which I *think* is what you did) so any infected files are gone for good.

Hope it's not a hardware problem, Good Luck! :)

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Post by gyroscope » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:14 pm

Thank you for your suggestions, Lynn, appreciated. I'll find time to go through them in the near future.

:)

PS For info, my desktop pic is of a b&w night sky with lightning, I just happened to grab part of the image that's totally black!

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Post by gyroscope » Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:27 am

I'm sort of creeping closer to a solution; I hope I won't have to resort to a fresh system install (I haven't an external drive for file backup). I've run hardware check software and that told me everything was OK...

I started up in Safe Mode (holding shift down) and as soon as the mouse appeared, the same problem was there, i.e the mouse in the top left of an area approx 56 x 56 pixels square, filled with little black ticks. (I tried to take a screen grab of it but curiously the pointer is replaced with a grab hand and no black marks).

But the menu bar, the dock as well as all icons on the desktop were as clean as a whistle; also clicking on icons didn't "infect" them like with a normal startup.

So to my mind, I'm 99% certain this really can't be a video hardware problem (all videos run fine as well after Safe Mode startup).

The fact that the corrupted pointer icon appears straight away points to the finder software yet I replaced this.... there's got to be an ancillary file which is loading that is corrupted, surely?

Has anyone any more ideas with this additional info given here, please?

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Post by Lynn P. » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:06 pm

The only other thing I can think of right now is to run one of the system maintenance utilities (checks system preference files and cleans out corrupt cache files, etc).

Here are some to check out:

Preferential Treatment
http://www.jonn8.com/html/pt.html

Cocktail
http://www.maintain.se/cocktail/index.php

Macaroni
http://www.atomicbird.com/macaroni

Onyx
http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs2/englis ... tiger.html

If a fresh system install in is order, then you can back up to CD's or DVD's, or if you have a fast internet connection, there are places you can back up data online, but since hard drives are relatively inexpensive these days and if you REALLY can't live without your files, you should really invest in a back up drive of some kind and back up daily. If the world would end if you lost some of those files (or at least make your life pretty miserable for a while), then it only takes once to learn this lesson. It only took me once!

Since you still experienced this problem in a safe boot, personally I wouldn't mess around with trying to figure out one or more corrupt files that may be causing this. It more than likely will return or become worse. I would do a fresh install, especially after doing everything you've done to date along with using one of the system utilities above.
Maybe someone else will have some suggestions to try though.
Good luck and let us know what happens. :-)

Forgot to add...
If you...
Put the OS X 10.4.x installation DVD and put it in the CD/DVD drive.
Boot the Mac from the DVD by restarting and holding down the "C" key so you are starting up from the DVD rather than the installed OS ... do you still get pixelation?

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Post by gyroscope » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:22 pm

Thank you again for your help.

I used all of the progs suggested (and similar before that) to no avail.
If a fresh system install in is order, then you can back up to CD's or DVD's
Good thinking, Lynn (why didn't I think of that!). Although having said that, my Superdrive ain't super anymore :wink: it seems to reject even the best branded discs, and those it doesn't, makes a horrible growling noise and appears to burn the disc but then reports a media error. (I've looked on line and it seems that disc cleaning discs scratches the lens and the only thing would be to replace the drive or be bold enough to open the Mac and clean it with isopropyl alcohol, to see if that cures it). I had to have the power supply replaced about a year ago...Anyhow, I'm beginning to think my Mac, less than 3 years old, is on the way out... maybe trying to cut costs by using cheap Far Eastern factories sometimes has it's downsides. (I owned a Quadra 700 for ten good years without any problem...)
If the world would end if you lost some of those files (or at least make your life pretty miserable for a while), then it only takes once to learn this lesson. It only took me once!
Good advice, I'm going to invest in an external hard drive and because of my cddrive, an external DVD writer as well (costing twice as much as PC equivalents though...)
I would do a fresh install
I beginning to think this is the only way, although...
Boot the Mac from the DVD by restarting and holding down the "C" key so you are starting up from the DVD rather than the installed OS ... do you still get pixelation?
Yes, on the mouse pointer so I'm wondering if it would be a waste of time...

I've noticed that it affects games as well; sp perhaps it is a graphics/video hardware problem after all... but then I think yet again, how can this be so picky, affecting some things, but not others? (Affecting icons/dock/menu bar but not desktop/Safari windows) and only affect the mouse pointer and nothing else at all on Safe Boot?

Don't know, and consider I might just live with this problem until I can afford another new computer... or take the plunge to back up data, wipe the drive and install totally fresh OS.

Thanks again for your advice. :)

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Post by Lynn P. » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:11 pm

Some final thoughts...

You may want to use Apple's Console app (in your Utilities folder) and have a look at system.log to check for any clues on boot up. You may glean some insight there as to what may be happening, and for some background and perspective on any suspicious entries in the system.log, you can read about the boot up process if you installed the Developer package from your Apple software.
You can read that following this path once installed:
ADC Reference Library> index.html>ADC Home> Reference Library>Guides->Mac OS X>System Startup Porgramming Topics>The Boot Process

If it's happening even when booting from the OS disk though, it sounds like a hardware problem, but at least you know you did a pretty thorough search of the problem.

Unfortunately, if I'm not mistaken... the graphics card in the iMac G5 is part of the main logic board so it's not cost effective to fix, IMHO. Probably best to save up for a new Intel Mac and that external drive for back up. :wink:

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Post by gyroscope » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:34 pm

As much as I can tell from Console it's a kernal panic. (I tried to calm the kernal down, but would it? heehee!)

Seriousy though, still at a loss here...
l
Probably best to save up for a new Intel Mac and that external drive for back up. :wink:
Good advice Lynn, I've started saving my pennies already and I'll live with the problem until then...

:)
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Post by jg501 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:02 pm

Hi Gyroscope,

I am running today in the same issue you experienced.

Did you finally sorted it out or got a new computer?

Your experience would be a great help.

Thanks

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Post by gyroscope » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:26 pm

Hi jg501,
I am running today in the same issue you experienced.
Sorry to hear that; it's a blinkin' nuisance, isn't it?
Did you finally sorted it out or got a new computer?
I'm afraid not. I've backed up my files/progs onto an external drive and when I feel "brave" enough I'm going to do a totally clean OS X install and fingers crossed to see if that cures it. Although I've got the idea it won't, because the corrupted pointer appears when booting from the OSX CD/DVD (whichever it is).

I still haven't decided whether its worth getting a new video card installed (if that's the prob, which it seems likely now) or use those pennies (ha, if only!) towards the cost of a new computer.

Anyhow, I'll keep you posted concerning this.
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Post by jg501 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:34 pm

Thank for the quick reply.

I found this thread on the apple website

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jsp ... 5&tstart=0

Unfortunately no solutions so far.

Cheers

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Post by gyroscope » Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:00 pm

That interesting reading; there was a ray of light by someone suggesting it could be a firmware corruption (if that's possible/) although I'm beginning to believe its the video card at fault.

Hopefully Apple will bend under pressure from so many people with the same problem that have been let down and give a free fix scheme for us.....although I doubt it.

Apple have really gone downhill in my estimation. Not only has my three and half year old machine got this specific prob, its switching itself off again (despite a free power supply swap a couple of years ago) and the MatShita drive is a load of old...as it won't read DVDs now or write CDs. They bought out another model with the camera two months after I purchased it, and dropped the price by £200. This was after the "Genius" at the genius bar insisted there were no newer models on the horizon. I sometimes feel like chucking the computer out of the window.

Right, got that off my chest!
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Post by jg501 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:06 pm

Hi,

I have solutions that fixes everything on my imac G5 except the dots around the cursor.

I think only the Quartz extreme from the Video Ram is faulty. Because everything else works.

Disabling it fixed the issues (minus cursor)

I found out how to disable Quartz Extreme here:
http://felipecruz.com/g5-freeze-ups-problem.php.
It's easy, in terminal enter:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver GLCompositor -dict tileHeight -int 0 tileWidth -int 0
and log out.

Let me know if this works for you, and i'll post my find on the apple website. Hopefully someone else will find a solution for the cursor.

Cheers.

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