Posted by: kurtsh | August 26, 2013

FIX: Adobe Flash not working on Windows 8/Internet Explorer 10 running on a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

This is sort of well documented on the Internet however in a slightly different context so I thought it might be helpful to describe my situation for others searching for a similar issue:

PROBLEM:
Adobe Flash was INCORRECTLY RENDERING graphics & and displaying a BLACK SCREEN for Flash video on my machine.

BACKGROUND:
I’m running Windows 8 Enterprise Edition with Internet Explorer 10.  One day, I booted up my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch and discovered that, despite the “Flash is installed correctly” web page working on Adobe.com, following Flash scenarios didn’t work:

  • Web pages with YouTube videos embedded within them failed to display the video, while the audio worked correctly.
  • Web pages with complex Flash objects rendered incorrectly and showed graphics in the wrong places, with buttons failing to work, basically making them unreadable and unusable.

Note:  This is in contrast with other folks on the Internet where Flash doesn’t even appear to be installed AND pages request that “Adobe Flash must be installed to view this content”.

SOLUTION:
There’s two solutions.  A quick fix & a longer term one:

  1. imageDISABLE HARDWARE ACCELERATION WITHIN INTERNET EXPLORER
    This solution is referenced on online forums when web pages state that Flash doesn’t appear to be “installed”.  This solution however ALSO works/applies when Flash does appear to be present for use by web pages however doesn’t render graphics & video correctly for the user.  Strange as it may seem, hardware acceleration is a parameter within Internet Explorer that affects the performance of Flash as a plug in. 

    If you check “Use software rendering…”, you effectively disable the GPU’s usage in IE & should find that Flash suddenly works for everything:  Playback works fine within embedded YouTube videos & rendering should work fine with complex vector graphics based Flash apps on the web.

  2. UPGRADE LENOVO THINKPAD X1 CARBON DISPLAY DRIVERS
    The strange behavior exhibited by Flash when hardware acceleration is in use is a symptom of poorly written display drivers in use for the Intel integrated GPU. 

    Once the drivers are updated to version 9.17.10.2875 (Apr 19, 2013), the issues within Flash disappear and you can re-enable hardware GPU acceleration within Internet Explorer 10.
    http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/research/hints-or-tips/detail.page?&DocID=HT074689


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