I had the same issue (hard to describe the display, but the same "color blooming"); your solution worked on my system, but I'll share another way that worked for me.
My problems first occured when I installed boot camp and it affected the screen on both the windows XP boot and the OSX Lepord boot. I found that by uninstalling the driver in winXP (which would cause the system to reboot), the screen would go back to normal.
However, the next time I would reboot the screen had a very high chance of coming back in the color blooming mode.
I finally just deleted the bootcamp partition thinking the problem would go away, and the system rebooted with the blooming display again. However the command/option/R/P did work.
There is a post in the Mac PRO area about a similar problem with bootcamp, but this is the only mention I've seen on the Macbook pro area. The solution for the Mac Pro area seemed to be solved with a new graphics driver.
What exactly does the command/option/R/P during boot do?
Thank the Gods!!! Sitting at work and ran into your post and the exact same thing happened with my macbook pro after i loaded Bootcamp. I thought i fried my mac (also loaded a linux distro). I got rid of the bootcamp partition (and the linux), and the "bloomming" continued, I reloaded Leopard, and still had the blooming. I'll try the bit with the keys when i get home! Did you reload bootcamp? Did the blooming return?
I've had this problem for about 7 months now on my 15" MacBook Pro (ATI x1600) --not sure why it surfaced all of a sudden... I've had a MacBook Pro since it was initially released, and had no problems whatsoever until 7 months ago. Apple Tech Support seems to be stymied... The worst part is that the "blooming" effect seems to be completely unpredictable; sometimes I restart the computer and everything is fine--sometimes I restart it and all **** breaks loose. Resetting the PRAM fixes the problem, but what a pain to have to do that several times a week, if you do lots of switching back and forth between XP and OS X. Has anyone who has had this problem taken the computer in to be fixed and had any luck?
This post was a lifesaver. I, too, tried command-option-P-R during restart, and it solved my prolem - a corrupted screen display that looked like the computer had been happily ingesting LSD for several days. Weird, vibrant colors, grainy texture. The earlier posting showed just a background that was corrupted, but for me it was everything - background, applications. . . what a mess.
Thanks for fixing my problem,
Hope this helps-- after reading about all the confusion and still no fix from Apple on this issue, I did manage to track down a pattern for the funky display issues and when they are most likely to occur.
From my MBP, if I "shut down" my system using the typical apple ->shut down command, the computer will always start up in this horrible display.
One fix to this is-------- let the computer boot up in its discolored state, RESTART the computer (APPLE-> RESTART), ......while it is rebooting again hold down your option button (as if you were going to select the WINDOWS BOOT-CAMP partition) and boot the computer up in Windows.
Yes-- windows will boot up in the same ugly display-- but here is the twist...
Once Windows boots up, look at your task-bar (bottom right corner where the clock is located) and go to your "Boot-Camp Manager" ( it looks like a grey square)--- click on it, and a menu will display... select "Restart Computer in MAC OS"..
Once I restart the computer using this method--- Guaranteed your display will be back to normal.
I've learned not to "shut down my computer" but rather sleep it.
If your display is working correctly, selecting restart will reboot your computer using the correct display drivers. Its the complete shut down that plays tricks on us.
Hope this helps any--- Its not boot-camp-- so don't go deleting or re-installing your partition, its not necessary. Its a software fluke for MBP and hopefully Apple tech's will find a fix. (Come on Apple-- release the update for us-- we bought your highest priced PC for performance and reliability! my $600 dollar mac mini has NO problems with boot-camp!)
Just wanted to chime in that I am having the exact same problem with one of our MacBook Pro's at work. We have 15 MacBook and MacBook Pro's in our office, and only one is being affected. It doesn't start happening until Boot Camp is installed and used (both the beta in Tiger and the new, Leopard version). Resetting the PRAM did not work for me, though, like the others mentioned, the external DVI port works fine.
I am in the process of reinstalling the system, and when it is up and running, I will test the solutions that have been given so far in this thread and report back. Thanks to all of you who have been contributing ideas and solutions on this topic. I am glad to find it is not an isolated case and hopefully Apple will take notice and address this issue soon.
Yep- I'm having the same problem on my macbook pro 15". Although zapping the pram fixes it every time, its still very annoying, and zapping the pram is sooo OS 9. It's making me consider switching to parallels. I have found that going to system prefs/startup disk and choosing to restart in windows from there reduces the number of times it happens (as opposed to holding down option key on reboot, which results in monitor distortion 100% of the time), but still happens about 1 in 5 reboots.
I have the exact same problem for months now. The PRAM reset works well, but... we SHOULD NOT have to do this every single time we want to use boot camp, which by the way, is no more in beta now! I think it should have some serious attention from Apple. Here is my stuff:
I'm on Leopard, I restart and hold the Alt key to have the OS choice, and choose Windows... booting up, everything is perfect. I now restart to use OS X, first of all, there is no grey screen, only black, but it's like if the display is just not powered up... Anyway, I manage to get back to OS X, and everything is ok again. From now on, if I just turn off or restart, on the next boot, the boot screen will be all screwed, the OS (OS X or Windows) will be so too. And I have to reset the PRAM.
I bought a Intel Mac just for the fact that OS X and Windows can live together, so please Apple, I beg you guys, get this fixed!!!
(By the way, this all started during the beta under Tiger, and I thought it would get fixed in Leopard... nope)
While not a Mac user I have heard of untold problems with ATI drivers on other platforms. My question is do these problems occur on all Macs or only on those using ATI chipsets? My other question is, if only on ATI is it limited to one or few GPU models? While I do not use a Mac myself, I help people that do and I just want to know what the circumstances are.
After a LOT of reboots, I've found a pattern AND SOLUTION for the problem:
For having this to happen, you have to be in OS X with everything normal then switch in Windows, then restart in OS X. (not a shut down) The screen goes inactive during the boot, but when in OS X, everything is normal. At the next boot though, the colors SHALL be all wrong, during the boot and once in the OS too. (Mac and Windows)
But I discovered that it happens only when you RESTART, not when you shut down the computer and then power it up. Seems like a parameter problem when Windows restart.
So my solution to stop having to reset the PRAM is this: when in Windows and wanting to go back to OS X, do not restart, shut down the computer and power it up to choose OS X. I hope this will help some people.
P.S.: Restarting from OS X seems fine for now, no problem at all.