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unknown and not easy to understand graphics problems in vectorworks. any idea?



One of my colleagues recently had this strange picture on his screen. What could it be?

It's Vectorworks 2022 SP5 (German), a MB Pro 16" 2019 with MacOS 10.15 with all updates. 16GB Ram, 8GB VRam.

The "problem" just occured once, a few days ago and it was visible on the MacBook screen and on the connected USB-C screen as well. Unfortunately it disappeared and after rebooting and didn't come back.

So, I guess it's either a videocard issue or some software problem (MacOS or Vectorworks?)

However I remember, that graphiccard problems look more likely like in the following two links. Right? (stripes, no triangles)





Did ever anybody see sth like this as well?




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On 5/5/2023 at 1:50 AM, matteoluigi said:

got that problem again, and, it persisted after closing Vectorworks.

Only restarting the computer did help...


Hi @matteoluigi, the problem might not have needed the computer to be restarted, but it depends on how quickly you restarted Vectorworks after it was quit.


When you quit Vectorworks be sure to wait at least 5, preferably 10 seconds after it has finished quitting before opening it again. This allows time for the operating system to release Vectorworks-related data from memory, which will include data related to this problem. If not enough time is allowed you can expect some types of problems to persist after restarting Vectorworks. My suggestion is founded on two things: 1. Personal experience and 2. Indicative evidence: If you reopen Vectorworks the instant it is closed, it will take less time to load because at least some of it is still/already loaded. Also, the memory consumption shown in Activity Monitor on Mac and in Task Manager on Windows reflects this. 

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@Jeremy Best I actuallay am not sure wether it's really been a Vectorworks issue.

1) it occured suddenly without any warning. At all I can't reproduce that issue

2) it occured on both, main screen and second USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 screen

3) the display problems have been all over the screen (not only vectorworks)


So I am more afraid of a hardware issue than sth else. However it does only happen one time in let's say 6 months?!?

Maybe I will reask wether my colleague only opens 2D files, how big the files are, he is working on...

still misterious...

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@matteoluigi Yes, when I saw your first screenshot showing the graphical anomaly on the Dock (and outside Vectorworks windows) I thought it unlikely to be caused by Vectorworks. I responded to your mention about restarting though in case it helps but also so others might benefit also should they find this thread while troubleshooting other issues, as I don't think I've posted that info before. 


I gather your MacBook Pro is out of warranty. If not (perhaps you have Apple Care?) I'd call Apple. Have general internet searches turned up anything similar? Never mind. I've just been browsing Google Image Search results for 'MacBook Pro display problems' and none of them match the 'style' you got. My current best guesstimate is that the graphics card driver (loaded into memory, as active software does) got messed up the same way that any program or other data can be. This would explain why restarting the whole computer remedied the symptoms. It is definitely not the same as the 'shards' problem also shown in this thread and because it has only happened once I'm expect it was caused by a random 'hiccup' in the operating system or the hardware that you're unlikely to see again. Ref: Data corruption caused by 'Cosmic Rays.

Edited by Jeremy Best
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10 minutes ago, Jeremy Best said:

My current best guesstimate is that the graphics card driver

hugh, now I am curious, how I could "reset" or "reinstall" the graphics card driver. On windows I would be able to reinstall the graphics card driver without any problem, but on mac? i will try to google.

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3 minutes ago, matteoluigi said:

hugh, now I am curious, how I could "reset" or "reinstall" the graphics card driver. On windows I would be able to reinstall the graphics card driver without any problem, but on mac? i will try to google.

You don't need to because after you restarted the symptom went away. The corruption event I expect happened occurred to data loaded into memory, not to the driver's software saved on the hard drive. When you restart the computer graphics card driver got loaded up again, fresh and free from issues. 


All 'active' software get's loaded into memory when it is open/run. (Same with files). This includes the operating system and drivers that are needed. Anything stored in memory (not so much hard drives) are vulnerable to cosmic rays (and other sources of corruption). When this occurs, the solution is to make the device/computer/smartphone etc reload everything it needs to function into memory anew. This is why the cliche exists, 'Have you turned it off and on?' Although these days restarting a computer is better than shutting it right down and turning it back on. 

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