Intel’s Video Drivers Kill Display Calibration

Since I had switched to Macs more than a year ago I spent really little time on managing my Lenovo X200s notebook. It was still running the original – Microsoft supplied – video driver. You know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I was really happy with its color, as I figured out how to set it up so that Windows loads display calibration properly. As you might guess, up until now…

Enter SP1

Windows 7 SP1 came out, and yesterday afternoon I had a little time to kill and decided to do the upgrade. There was also an Intel video driver upgrade available – and I decided to install it alongside the service pack. Everything looked OK util I had rebooted the machine. Then, just a split second after Windwos loaded the calibration curves, something swithced the monitor back to the uncalibrated state. First I thought that Microsoft screwed it up, but further investigation revealed the truth.

In my former article I blamed Microsoft for not understanding what color management is all about. Although they finally seem to catch up, there are a lot of hardware manufacturers who does not care about all this stuff.

Intel is among them.

Rant: I still do not understand why PC hardware manufacturers feel that they have to load a bunch of crappy software alongside their drivers. Start with a fresh Windows installation, download all the latest drivers and your machine is full of useless applications. I can’t remember a single event when I used any of them (and I used Windows PCs since the earliest days of Windows). That’s one of the reasons I’m using a Mac now.

Yes you’re right, one of the crappy apps Intel ships their Graphics Media Accelerator video driver with was that killed the calibration. The app is called “Persistence Module”. It’s name seems like a joke as it is THE module who does not allow calibrations to be presisted…

How to Remove Persistence Module?

There is a really handy tool, Autoruns, written by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, which can be used to show the hordes of apps that Windows loads at startup – and more importantly to disable any of them.

When you download and run the app it will display something similar to what you see on the following screen shot.

To disable Persistence module, just click on the Logon tab, and find Persistence under the first “…\Run” list. Removing the checkmark in front of the name will disable this application, but you can completely remove this entry hitting Delete.

Note that I also disabled Logo Calibration Loader because this task is handled by Windows 7 correctly, as well as ProfileReminder because I don’t wand reminders about recalibration on my notebook (I’m usually recalibrating it before each major shoot).

Reboot your machine and it’ll be good again.

That’s it. Case closed for now. Until Intel comes out with another irritating innovation of course…

I do not use Windows any more, so not is a position to answer your Windows-related questions.

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  1. János Csendes says:

    I also had this annoying issue and it just drove me mad, but now your solutions fixes the whole thing. The color management works flawlessly now, so thanks a LOT! You are saving my life with this =)

  2. I cannot THANK YOU enough! It was so annoying to reapply my calibration multiple times per editing session. Nobody knew what to do until I found your page. Applied your fixes and now it just sticks like it should. You’re saving me time and aggravation. Mwah!

  3. Thank You. You made my day 🙂

    I do not have enough words to describe my feelings when I got this mega-annoying Persistence disabled and the bug fixed.

    T H A N K Y O U ! ! !

  4. This problem has irritated me for soooo long! Thanks so much for posting the fix – works perfectly 🙂

  5. Thanks. I bought a new monitor a few days ago. Setting the gamma using the Windows 7 program worked much better than using the Intel video card program. But, my Windows 7 settings disappeared each time I rebooted. Getting rid of Persistence solved my problem. thanks again!

  6. Well, I thought this was the miracle cure for my issue, but I’ve found one last scenario where it still reverts to the default color profile, and I have to manually apply it again. When I put my laptop to sleep and then wake it up, the color profile still gets dumped.

    • There is actually an article about how to reload calibrations after sleep. It looks quite complicated so my solution: avoid sleep – so basically power-cycle my laptop before editing.

  7. Laszlo,
    A BIG THANK YOU for this fix/post 🙂
    It solved my problem and to be honest I almost gave up in trying to solve it myself…
    After removing this Intel’s Persistence everything works just PERFECT!
    Once again MANY THANKS.

  8. Hi and thanks for the article! I’ve had this issue for about 3 years now, on my win7 stationary comp. and now on my zenbook u500vz notebook with win8. I’ve already been in color management and set that up, but still, When I calibrate withs Spyder3 express hardware, the ICC wont load into the video card. This Notebook has an internal Intel 4000-something-gpu and a nVidia GeForce GT 650. I’ve disconnested the Intel GPU in nVidia Control Panel, so it’s now only the nVidia GPU that takes care of things.

    I tryed to use Autoruns as you recommended, but the Persistence file is not even there to be unchecked (maybe because I deactivated the Intel GPU in nVidia Control Panel?)

    Any other tips for how to make this laptop show correct colors and temp.? When using Photoshop CS6 i always load the RAW-file first and edit as I want it. When loading it further into CS6 ad a TIFF file with the adobe RGB 1998 color profile, the colors ar blass and boring. After converting to the ICC profile (JPG), the colors are way to warm and way to red.


  9. Thanks a lot for this very detailed explanation!

  10. Brandon D. says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve struggled with this problem for years. And, I’m so fortunate that you explained it and found the solution to it. It’s quite a miracle! Best wishes to you with your work!

    Brandon D.

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