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Lightroom screen flicker with external hard drive

NJHeart2Heart

Active Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
447
Location
Northern NJ, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
LR Classic subscription 10.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
Hi all,
I hope you all have survived 2020 with minimal health issues, and are enjoying this holiday season.

I just recently opened Lightroom after a long hiatus. Initially LR didn't see where the catalog was, but I was able to restore the connection and it found the photos on my original external drive.
However, I was alarmed to find that when the external drive was connected it was causing random areas of the screen to flicker in LR and it seemed to "infect" the laptop desktop.

First I thought it was the power supply - Changed power source, then external cables - not fixed
Then I thought maybe the external, being old and not used lately, might have gotten corrupted. With much effort I backed it up to a new external.
Connected back to LR fine, but - not fixed.
I can also say it doesn't appear to be a laptop power issue. the ONLY time this happens is when I open LR, then plug in any external hard drive, regardless if I am on battery or electric power.

It seems that the flicker starts most consistently when I start LR first than plug in the external, and the blinking seems to coincide with the disk movement. You know.. as it does it's normal "rumbly" thing.. the screen flickers in sync with it..

I just started up again, and this time, I plugged in external while LR was OFF. It started up, no flickering, and when it was up to "cruising" speed, THEN I started LR - no flickering- even after I started accessing photos and now the hard drive is whirring for access with no incidence.

I have the most recent Mac Catalina (have not upgraded to Big Sur) and LR Classic (10.1 I think), which I believe includes reasonably current graphics driver updates (automatic with Mac).
My LRcat is on my laptop and my photos are all on an external hard drive.

I suppose I could connect things it in this order, but I'm afraid this is a foretelling of catastrophe, so would like any suggestions to see if I can isolate the problem.

Thank you,
Dawn in NJ
 

NJHeart2Heart

Active Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
447
Location
Northern NJ, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Update - I had LR on and the external connected while writing the above post. It seemed fine, but then I went to pinterest online, the drive did a normal "whirring" thing, and the screen flicker began again, and got really baad, until I closed out LR. Now, external connected - no flickr, even when rapidly accessing photos directly from the drive. It all seems connected to LR being on.. disturbing :(
 

NJHeart2Heart

Active Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
447
Location
Northern NJ, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
People have historically been so helpful here... Did I not ask the right question, or put this in the right forum?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,053
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I think no one has replied because (like me) we have no experience with your issue. Lightroom will put the utmost strain on your hardware resources. I would GUESS that the issue is related to your GPU when Lightroom is in use . It could also be a power issue. Does the EHD have it’s own power supply or are you drawing power from the Mac via the USB or Thunderbolt port. If you are sucking from the Mac, my guess would be that the power supply is no sufficient to run both the EHD and the Display and the flickering that you see is when there is not enough juice to deliver to the screen.
It could be that the Mac power supply is about to fail. But this is just a guess.

Tell me more about the EHD. Is it USB connected ? USB3 or USB2 or USBC? Doe it directly connect through the Computer port or do you have a hub? Does the hub have a separate power supply? How old I’d the computer? The EHD?
 
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