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We study the various nonlinear effects produced during the detection of high-intensity signals in semiconductor photodiodes. Experimental results on few commercial detectors are compared with theoretical analysis. This analysis is based on the tensor coefficients from second- and third-order optical nonlinearities. Both contributions are measured using collinear orthogonally polarized beams in a pump-probe setup. The photoelectric signal is obtained for several orientations of the crystal optic axis.