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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto Apps
This problem has taken me almost a week to solve, so I thought your readers may benefit from my experiences. Nobody had posted about it on Apple's forums, so I got no help there. At the end of the the day, I may have broken a golden rule and tampered with the /System/Library folder (which seems to have caused the problem), but this workaround had not given a problem prior to iPhoto 5.04.

The problem was that on importing a folder of photos, the thumbnails were all black. I had also had my privileges corrupted on my user folder by a bad installer, and could not empty trash, or create new folders, etc. I fixed the privileges, but still had the same problem with iPhoto. All the usual fixes didn't work -- logout/login ; rebooting ; created a new user; trashed preferences file; rebuilt iPhoto library (this actually turned all the good thumbnails black as well!). I even moved the iPhoto library folder to allow iPhoto to create a new blank library, and that didn't work. Nor did trashing iPhoto and reinstalling an earlier version

The only course of action left was to re-install the full system. I backed stuff up, and did an erase and install. Over the next few days, I then brought everthing up-to-date, checking iPhoto operation at each stage. I wasn't sure if QuickTime7 may have been cause, so I only installed QT 6.5.2. Finally, all up-to-date and running OK again, and then ... it did it again! What caused it?

At some point in getting back up-to-date, I had re-applied my previous workaround to fix a bug whereby iPhoto changed the embedded colour profile from sRGB to Generic RGB when editing a photo. I did this by modifying some files in the /System -> Library -> ColorSync -> Profiles folder. I discovered that changing any colour profiles there results in the default permissions being changed on said files. However, resetting the permissions did not fix it directly. To fix it, I had to copy this folder off my daughters' Mac, then fix the permissions again. Finally, it was fixed!

The moral of the story? Don't touch any colour profiles in your system library!

[robg adds: This probably only affects a very small number of users, but if someone's searching for a fix, at least they'll be able to find it here...]
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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: mclbruce on Nov 14, '05 08:02:50AM

iPhoto has been updated by Apple so that the color profile problem you were tryig to fix no longer occurs. Photos edited in iPhoto 5.0.4 keep the profile they had before editing.

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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: pepi on Nov 14, '05 04:16:19PM

If you keep the option key (alt) pressed while starting iPhoto it is also possible to let the application rebuild all the thumbnails in your iPhoto Library. I haven't tested if it will remedy the problem since I didn't experience the problem yet. It might help one or another anyway.
Regards Pepi

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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: VirtualWolf on Nov 15, '05 03:18:51AM

Oh my god, I could kiss you. :D

I noticed a week or so ago that my newly imported photo thumbnails were all displaying black (the ones that were already in the library were fine). Like you, I tried rebuilding the iPhoto library thumbnails, and everything went black. I /had/ been fiddling around in /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ a few weeks back.

I can imagine I would have gone insane trying to find a solution to this. Thanks! :D

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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: Orc on Dec 02, '05 05:09:46AM

I have the same problem but AFAIK I have NOT consiously tampered with my color profiles. Will try out the solution, though.

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A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: mretondo on Oct 21, '06 12:43:15AM

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.....

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Re: A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: pkdesign on Oct 27, '06 11:14:06AM

THANK YOU!!! I could not find the answer to this issue either until I came upon your solution. It was making me nuts! Like you, I "fixed" the issue by rebuilding but that only made my older thumbnails disappear! I do not remember messing with any of my ColorSync settings but clearly I did. Thank goodness I had a Powerbook that I could copy that folder from.

And to the poster about iPhoto 5, you are wrong. I am using iPhoto 6.0.5 and I still had this issue.

Hurray for macOSXhints!

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Re: A solution for black thumbnails in iPhoto
Authored by: pkdesign on Oct 30, '06 07:24:35PM

An update to my last post. For many, many months now I have not been able to get a preview of PDFs in a finder window. JPEGs look fine as did other files but PDFs just mysteriously stopped previewing.

WELL, after applying this fix for my iPhoto thumbnails I now have my PDF previews in the finder as well!! You can not imagine my joy after all this time to have previews of my PDF files back.

I can't believe there is not more about this issue and the moving of these files anywhere on the web. I know, I've looked!

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