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Thread: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

  1. #1

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    Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Hello everyone,
    I've been trying to follow the instructions on screen calibration using Windows colour managment. Tiny tots' first steps, but it would be nice to be able to get it to work.
    I get to the end of the routine, create an .icc profile file, which Windows will use for a few minutes, or operations, then seem to discard. Particularly after first logoff / logon, there is no way of reactivating the profile. I created a bright pink profile by putting the green slider to minimum, just to be sure whether it was being used or not.
    I've tried every combination of settings on the 'Device' tab and the 'Advanced' tab I can think of, including changing system defaults, checking and unchecking 'use my settings', checking and unchecking 'Use Windows display calibration', using the 'Reload current calibration' button, nothing doing.
    I've printed out the 7 pages 'of 'Help', no help.
    I've no idea what the drop-downs in the 'WCS Defaults' box do, they don't seem to affect anything.

    At logon, I see my bright pink profile for a second, then it is replaced by standard settings. Perhaps something in the startup menu ?

    FWIW I've got a Dell Inspiron laptop with a Dell U2312HM IPS monitor attached.

    Anyone out there know how this works ?

  2. #2

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    It is unfortunate that Windows color management is still broken. It's the result of being a system that has evolved over many years. DOS applications written 25 years ago still run under Windows 7. This is as opposed to Apple and OS X. Apple's hardware and software are completely different from what they started with. Apple's current computer architecture didn't exist until 2006. I guess that's one benefit of having a tiny market share and few applications...you can switch everyone to different hardware and software and it's not a big deal. Such a change would be impossible for Windows.

    So Windows provides a color management system that is basically optional. Even IE and other Windows apps don't seem to use the system properly. That's why image editing applications tend to provide their own color management.

    If Dell provides a color profile for the monitor, then install it. That should set Windows to use that profile. Then in your editing software preferences, under color management, if there's an option to select a monitor icc profile then select the Dell profile. Otherwise, the software should try to use the current monitor profile, which should be the same Dell profile.

    You can use XnView and Raw Therapee to check images. Both are free and both allow you to enter a monitor profile (for XnView, under Options, General, ICC, it's the first field and for some reason it's unlabeled.) Those will give you a correct color conversion that you can use to see if your other software is working correctly. For example, on my Windows 7 system, Nikon's ViewNX doesn't convert the color properly. It's does exactly what Windows Photo Viewer, and IE does. Photoshop works correctly.

  3. #3

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Graystar View Post
    If Dell provides a color profile for the monitor, then install it. That should set Windows to use that profile. Then in your editing software preferences, under color management, if there's an option to select a monitor icc profile then select the Dell profile. .
    Thanks Graystar. The monitor profile is installed, but Heaven only knows what W.7 does with it. My editing SW is PSE 9, I'll check out its options. PSE 9 comes out with grays slightly blue (but I like b&w slightly cold, so that's not a problem) on the laptop, and with grays muddy brown on the monitor. That's more of a problem. I'll also check out the two SW options you mentioned. Thanks again.

    I was wondering since I posted yesterday if it isn't WCS itself that overrides the profile. MS claim that it automatically calibrates our screens...

    Regards, Chris.

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Chris: forget trying to use Windows colour profile, if you want to profile your monitor you need a system to create the proper profile and then installes it on your hard drive. Suggest that you get either the Spyder from datacolor or the colormunki from x-rite, now the spyder here in Canada is cheaper than the colormunki which is $200.00 and the spyder is $120.00. Using these will help greatly to ensure the colours you have are correct.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Chris: forget trying to use Windows colour profile, if you want to profile your monitor you need a system to create the proper profile and then installes it on your hard drive. Suggest that you get either the Spyder from datacolor or the colormunki from x-rite, now the spyder here in Canada is cheaper than the colormunki which is $200.00 and the spyder is $120.00. Using these will help greatly to ensure the colours you have are correct.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Thanks Allan. My concern is, if something in my setup is screwing up the basic Windows colour management option, it may screw up the output from Spyder (or other) as well. It'd be a pity to buy the Spyder and find that because of some problem in my setup Win 7 is ignoring its output as well !

    Chris.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Chris: I will agree with what Alan has suggested. I have used custom profiles on my Windows machines for years. While the XP setup was fine on a single monitor configuration, it seemed to get confused by a second monitor (i.e. the profile was correct on the main monitor but the secondary monitor profile used the default values. All that was fixed in Vista and Windows 7 continued the trend. The fact that your system is not using the newer profile is a bit puzzling. Is your BIOS up to date?

    I use an old x-Rite i1 unit to do my profiles; the way you are trying to do things manually is subjective and really does not work particularly well. I have found that a profiling tool is the only way to go.

    The fact that you are using a laptop and driving an external IPS display is also not ideal. Laptops generally use a VGA (analog) interface rather than one of the more modern digital outputs to your external display, which means you are not able to take full advantage of the IPS / digital technology and are likely to have some level of colour / signal degradation. Digital HDMI and DisplayPort technology found on desktop computers are much better (remember VGA was introduced in 1987...)

  7. #7

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Chris: I will agree with what Alan has suggested. I have used custom profiles on my Windows machines for years. While the XP setup was fine on a single monitor configuration, it seemed to get confused by a second monitor (i.e. the profile was correct on the main monitor but the secondary monitor profile used the default values. All that was fixed in Vista and Windows 7 continued the trend. The fact that your system is not using the newer profile is a bit puzzling. Is your BIOS up to date?

    I use an old x-Rite i1 unit to do my profiles; the way you are trying to do things manually is subjective and really does not work particularly well. I have found that a profiling tool is the only way to go.

    The fact that you are using a laptop and driving an external IPS display is also not ideal. Laptops generally use a VGA (analog) interface rather than one of the more modern digital outputs to your external display, which means you are not able to take full advantage of the IPS / digital technology and are likely to have some level of colour / signal degradation. Digital HDMI and DisplayPort technology found on desktop computers are much better (remember VGA was introduced in 1987...)
    Thanks Manfred. I take your point about the VGA link. The VGA port on my laptop doesn't even have screw threads to fix the VGA plug securely . However, any problems with VGA wouldn't explain why the .icc file is ignored even for my laptop screen in standalone mode.

    Question, do calibration devices (Spyder or other) work by creating .icc profiles or do they access the colour management system in some completely different way ?

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    All that was fixed in Vista and Windows 7 continued the trend. The fact that your system is not using the newer profile is a bit puzzling. Is your BIOS up to date?
    GREAT MAN! I've updated the BIOS, going from v.A02 to v.A06 in one fell swoop, and there is PROGRESS ! The situation has improved. I can now reliably associate an .icc profile to either screen for the duration of a session. I'm using my pink 'test' profile as I write. HOWEVER, at Startup, for the laptop screen, or at either Startup or Resuming Windows, for the monitor, something in the setup is turning the profile off, and I have to go back through a loop of re-defining the profile as Default to turn it back on again. Computers are wonderful things.

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Chris - is this normal behaviour when you power up or is it associated with the machine going into standby mode? In the past I have had machines that did not restore properly when they returned to operational mode.

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Here is how to get to Default Profile in Windows-7 (as seen on my desktop machine)
    1. Open Control Panel
    2. Open Color Management
    3. Select Device (Laptop screen may be only device shown)
    4. Check a TICK in [Use my settings for this device]
    5. Highlight the wanted profile in the list. (May be more than one, or one you have created)
    If yours is not visible- try searching by choosing the "All Profiles" tab.
    6. Click on [Set as Default Profile]
    7. Close
    Laptops may be different, but this may be of help if you have created a saved a profile by any method.

  11. #11

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Quote Originally Posted by wobert View Post
    Here is how to get to Default Profile in Windows-7 (as seen on my desktop machine)
    1. Open Control Panel
    2. Open Color Management
    3. Select Device (Laptop screen may be only device shown)
    4. Check a TICK in [Use my settings for this device]
    5. Highlight the wanted profile in the list. (May be more than one, or one you have created)
    If yours is not visible- try searching by choosing the "All Profiles" tab.
    6. Click on [Set as Default Profile]
    7. Close
    Laptops may be different, but this may be of help if you have created a saved a profile by any method.
    Robert, thanks for taking the time to answer. However, the procedure you describe is pretty much where I started from. Its end result is a display calibration profile, which is a file with an .icc or .icm file type. My problem is that even after I've done all that, and created the calibration profile, my system for some reason turns it off at startup.

  12. #12

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Chris - is this normal behaviour when you power up or is it associated with the machine going into standby mode? In the past I have had machines that did not restore properly when they returned to operational mode.
    Hi Manfred. At power-up the system adopts my calibration profile, then, just before the end of the startup routines, turns it off again. As I've created a bright pink profile for testing purposes I can trace that process pretty clearly. FWIW on my laptop it's just before the 'on-screen clock' widget appears.

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Hello again Chris,
    I just remembered that I had a similar problem many moons ago- It was my Graphic Card Software!
    My current desktop has been profiled by a Spyder profiler and looks good, but the previous problem was that the Nvidia Graphic Card Software was overriding the system choice of profile and resetting colours to something different.
    I include an image of my current graphic card set up- note the option "Other Applications control colour settings." This software is accessed through Windows Control Panel- "NVIDIA Control Panel"
    Note the option to "use NVIDIA settings" -(not wanted.!)
    This is another possibility. Check every last corner of your graphics card software for a 'Reset' or default settings.
    Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : BIOS Update

    Hi Robert, I just have the basic Intel Chipset. Following your advice I went into the Intel Graphics control panel. There's nothing which directly addresses the problem, but it links through to the Intel Help site, where I found this :
    http://communities.intel.com/thread/...or+calibration
    That just might be the answer. I'll try it. If it explodes on me there'll be one less photographer on the planet tomorrow morning.

  15. #15

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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : Problem Solved !

    Problem solved.

    The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver (installed with the Intel Chipset Graphics Card) runs a process called igfxpers.exe which overrides custom colour calibration.
    It can be prevented from running at system startup by unchecking the corresponding entry in the Administrative Tools / System Configuration 'Startup' tab (Windows 7), accessed by clicking on Start.

    My thanks to Robert, to Manfred, and to all who took an interest.

    igfxpers.exe can also be safely disinstalled completely, according to a Symantec systems expert. However she recommends to create a system restore point first !
    Link to her thread : http://www.symantec.com/connect/forums/igfxpersexe

  16. #16
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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : Problem Solved !

    Happy to hear you are on the right track.
    Computers- a never ending sink-hole of complications! Thank heaven for the internet.

  17. #17
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    Re: Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles : Problem Solved !

    Two other alternatives are ColorMunki and SpyderPro, both of which have some good prices for used software (and accompanying hardware) on Amazon.

    v

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