12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2010 10:39 PM by b noir
David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
I've tried to contact apple about this issue, but after telling me, "We'll get back to you", they just close the case. I contacted them January 28, the case shows as closed January 27 (no, not a typo). I contacted the support rep by email asking the status on Feb 15, and received NO reply. I called today (2/21) and was told that they have no idea why the case was closed--but, they still didn't know how to fix it.

Below are screenshots of what's happening... The first one is what greets me on EVERY SINGLE launch of iTunes.

To fix it, I need to do three steps:

I've tried to re-create the itunes database by moving my existing library, still didn't fix the issue.

There has been some talk about this issue before (I could find as early as 2007), but, so far, I can't find a definitive answer on how to fix it. Can anyone help me solve this issue?


Windows 7, Win7 64-bit Ultimate
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    Some kind of odd video driver or directX issue, perhaps? Seen that cause this sort of thing every so often.

    What make and model of PC do you have, David? (I'd like to check your specs at your manufacturer's website.)
  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I guess I should have said... It did work just fine.. I don't know why it stopped working though.

    It's a Dell Optiplex 740, but, the video card is a GeForce 9800GT w/ 1GB of ram. The system itself has 8GB ram (if it matters). Two screens @ 1920x1200px each.
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    video card is a GeForce 9800GT w/ 1GB of ram.

    Is that a card you've added in yourself? If so, have you checked at nVidia to see if you're up to date on the drivers for the card?

    [NVIDIA Driver Downloads|http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us&ptid=1&psid=51&p id=309]

    (Wondering here if the existing drivers might have gone off ... if so, it's probably worth checking to see if there's a newer driver available.)

    If your drivers are up to date already, it might be worth trying a reinstall of the drivers, just in case.
  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Yes.. They're all up to date. That was my first thought when it happened.

    Actually.. Some more information:

    When I create a new user account on my system, it seems to work. But, a new database alone--does not.

    I have no desire to change my user profile over an iTunes issue--but, the problem can therefore be considered to NOT be computer hardware/software/drivers. It has to be something local to the user account I'm using on the machine. I assume a plist has been corrupted in some way, but, beyond that, I have no idea.
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    When I create a new user account on my system, it seems to work. But, a new database alone--does not.

    Good lord ... that's most likely a blown-out iTunes display preference in the iTunes preferences files, then.

    We should be able to fix that in your usual user account.

    The technique you need to fix a preferences file issue is described in the "Remove iTunes Preference files" section of the "User-specific troubleshooting" section of the following document:

    [iTunes for Windows Vista or Windows 7: Troubleshooting unexpected quits, freezes, or launch issues|http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1717]

    Before starting out on that, set the PC up to view hidden files and folders, as per the description at the beginning of the "User-specific troubleshooting" section.

    *Some heads-ups before proceeding*

    Be careful of any custom preferences (EQ, imports, etc) you have set up. Take a note of those, because rebuilding the relevant prefs returns all such prefs to their default settings. You may need to set up any such preferences all over again.

    You may also need to reinstall any third-party plugins afterwards.

    Things to expect during the pref file rebuild ... moving one set to the desktop (on XP) causes the setup assistant to run during the rebuild. Avoid saying yes if it asks you to import all the media files on your PC into iTunes. Otherwise, you'll end up duplicating all your content in your iTunes library. Moving the other set of prefs to the desktop (on XP) means that you have to agree to the licence agreement again.
  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    OMG! It *SEEMS* to work.. I'm going to keep checking, but, as of right now, it seems to be working. Thank you!

    As an aside... Two 2nd-tier product specialists couldn't figure out even how to delete the xml files and rebuild it. Truly pathetic excuse for "Support" from Apple.

    I'll post once I know for sure that it's working.
  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Crap... Did it again..
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    Interesting ... I wonder what's blowing up your preference files? (Assuming it's a "blowing up" that we're looking at.)

    Do you have a multiple monitor set-up? Or are you attaching to a less-usual-sort of monitor?
  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I've actually gone ahead and removed both iTunes folders... And, it didn't solve the problem

    It works a few times, then, I get the black-screen of death again.

    I have two Samsung SyncMaster 2433 monitors. Both are connected via. DVI to the nVidia video card.

    I typically throw iTunes onto screen 2, but, it's not made a difference which screen it starts on in the past.

    I've checked the ICC profiles and they seem correctly configured. But, I do use a X-Rite spectrometer to calibrate the displays. So, there is some custom ICC profiles for the display happening. But, frankly, no other program seems to be whining about that...

    I'm really at a loss.. What else could it possibly be?

  • David Wolf1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I should mention.. Although, I'm not sure it matters.. The software loads fine, and it looks fine for about 30 seconds. At the end of about 30 seconds or so, it goes black. It doesn't actually load up black to begin with.

    Message was edited by: David Wolf1
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    Multiple monitors, Windows 7, some display things not showing up how they ought to look ... I've seen something on this recently. I'm going to have to head off to Microsoft to do some research there to see if I can track down the article I'm half-remembering.
  • b noir Level 9 (72,050 points)
    Multiple monitors, Windows 7, some display things not showing up how they ought to look ... I've seen something on this recently.

    Found it ... actually, found them.

    I'm wondering if we've got an iTunes bug on top of a Windows 7 bug here.

    There's a couple of currently-recognised issues with multiple monitors on Windows 7:

    [The taskbar appears on the wrong monitor after you change the primary monitor in Windows 7|http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2002029]

    [Taskbar and Desktop Icons Do Not Display on Primary Monitor|http://support.microsoft.com/kb/295650/en-us]

    I'm wondering if the iTunes display preferences are tripping up when trying to deal with this, and doing something silly like attempting (but failing) to display the contents of the iTunes GUI on the wrong monitor. So we get a black area in the middle of the iTunes GUI.

    There's some quite strong connections between the iTunes preferences and the library files. (Some information about tracks is stored in the library database files, some in the preferences files, some in the tags on the content files, and they all dance around each other quite a bit.) So that might explain why the display comes back when you play tracks. The interplay between track, library and preference data jolts the display preferences into behaving sensibly.

    If iTunes is opened in a different user account, with a blank library, there's no information in the content files (because there is no content). So the conditions for the effect to occur might not be met, because we don't have the same sort of interplay between library, content and preferences going on. So that might be the difference between the normal account and the test account.

    I guess, to try to work out if any of that could be possibly the case, we could test this by disconnecting one of the monitors ... does the iTunes display behave normally when there's only one monitor attached to the system?