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Green and purple dots on screen (fixed!)

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
So I had green and purple dots all over the screen of my iMac (10.5.6, intel 24"). The dots would disappear briefly when windows were dragged over them. Green dots appeared on black backgrounds and purple dots appeared on lighter backgrounds (e.g. "about this mac" was really bad). I didn't find the solution anywhere and several people reported needing to replace their hardware. With the help of a technician at Apple, we figure out the fix (in my case).
Here's what didn't work:
- shutting off the machine and unpowering for 15 seconds
- resetting the PRAM
Here's what DID work:
- go to Utilities
- go to Disk Utility
- select Macintosh HD
- press "verify disk permission" (and wait a long long time)
- press "repair disk permission" (and wait a long long time)
- reboot
This fixed it. Apparently errors on disk impact bits in displaying certain things. Who knew.
Anyway, I hope this helps someone else.

The Best Answer

OK. Thanks.
I noticed that when I ran the verify/repair permissions again, it found some, repaired it, and the dots went away again. That would indicate a hardware problem.