How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ashik Your Own Question
Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 11187
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Ashik is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The display on my iMac (its a 9.1) has been altered. On start-up

This answer was rated:

The display on my iMac (its a 9.1) has been altered. On start-up I can see the normal colour display however it then changes to black and white and the mouse icon becomes very large. When I go through system preferences there is nothing obvious that I can do to reset. In appearance I only have a choice of blue & graphite and I'm not sure if I should see more. I appreciate any advice on how to reset the display. Thanks in advance.
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

Before we start, please remember these things. It may take more than one step/answer to solve a problem. So If my answers don’t work or if you are not satisfied, please don’t Rate my answer bad/negatively (First two left Stars/Faces/Ratings are Negatives) but please Reply back to me by clicking the “Continue Conversation” or “Reply” button.
Remember, only Rate answer after you are 100% Satisfied.

Goto XXXXX and open Universal Access. Under "Display", click the radio button "White on Black". This will change your Mac into original colours.

Also, make sure the Zoom is turned off there.

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.



selecting white on black has made it easier to see what's on the screen but the colours are not back to normal e.g what was green is now displaying as purple.

Press Control + Option + Apple(Command) + 8

Any Change ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

what is the option key? I tried the alt key instead but this did not do anything.


Alt is the option key. We can try some basic troubleshooting steps and see if that works or not.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM (Solution 1)

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears and before the chime sound.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for three times.
  6. Release the keys.

Restart in Safe mode
(Solution 2)
Make sure that the computer is shut down. Press the power button. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator. Let the Mac boot up...

Run Disk Utility in Single User Mode(Solution 3)
Turn your Mac off. Turn it back on and this time hold down the Command (Apple) key and the S keys at the same time. Then type the following command...

/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)

If you can't run /sbin/fsck - fy then type only fsk - fy

Hit return and the disk utility should run and let it finish. When it finishes and there is no error, then type reboot and hit return. Let the Mac boot up. (Disk Utility will fix all system errors, bad preferences files etc)

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ashick, I'm back in - I tried Solution 1 but no difference. fyi when the computer restarts the colours look normal when the login prompt is shown. Immediately after I login the colours look normal for about 5 seconds then change. Does this help with how to proceed?

It seems like the problem is with the system files. Try solution 2 and 3 now.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi solution 2 eventually signed on - display looks normal - do I need to restart to sign on normally or do I need to do anything else?


Sorry for the delay...Try Solution 3 now please.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

even though everything looks OK after solution 2?

Yes. Solution 2 is Safe Mode, temporary fix
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

when do i select command plus s?

Hold down Command key and S keys on your Keyboard at same time while restarting your Mac.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi, solution 3 said that HD was OK so I rebooted but the colours have returned to being odd

What version of Mac OS X are you using ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Go to Macintosh HD/Users/you username/Library/Preferences folder and trash the file

Then restart your Mac. Does that works ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No - same again

Do you have the Mac OS X installation discs ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have found the Mac OS X install DVD for 10.5.6 (i'm now on 0.5.8) and an applications install DVD. I also have 5 DVDs that I must have set-up at some point but are not labelled (not sure if I was instructed to take copies at some point). I also have a Mac OS X Snow Leopard CPU drop in DVD which I have never used. If I reinstall the OS does that have any consequences on the data (e.g. photo files etc.)

Nope, when you reinstall, only the system files will be replaced. Make sure you do Archive and Install. See here :

Quick question, why don't you upgrade your OS X 10.5 to 10.6 Snow Leoaprd ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I may as well while I'm at it - I take it I install X 10.5 and then put snow leopard 1.6 on top?


Nope, you can just install the 10.6 over your 10.5. Put the Mac OS X 10.6 disc and follow the onscreen instructions to upgrade. Upgrading OS X won't delete any of your files, but I'd recommend to backup your files before upgrading OS X.

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ashik, I started the install before your reply arrived. Its complete but unfortunately after briefly looking OK the colours flicked to look odd once more - its like a colour negative.

Goto Universal Access and see if you can change from there. If that didn't work, create a new admin account from System Preferences > Accounts. Then logout from Apple menu and login to that new account. Do you have problem in that account ?


PS : We have some technical site problems here. So I will not be able to get back to you properly. I'll get back to you later when everything is fixed here. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ashik, I reversed your earlier advice and reselected the "black on white" radio button and all looks OK now - although selecting "white on black" earlier partially helped so not sure if that is what to expect. So now that I am back to OS X 10.5.6 do you recommend that I move to OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 rather than getting any software updates? And before I upgrade you recommend that I backup my data files?

Yes. Go ahead and upgrade to 10.6 Snow Leopard. Then do all Software Updates from Snow Leopard.

Yes, backup your data before upgrading.

If you like my service, please rate me as Excellent Service.

Best Regards,

Ashik and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you