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Graphic Card Malfunction

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 8, 2010 7:11:21 AM

Disclaimer: If you don't want to read a lot, then skip to the bottom and provide any answers you can. Thank you. :) 

Hi, my brother's Dell Vostro 1400 did this weird thing. His screen split into six and each screen has lines going through them and are discolored to the point where it made it almost impossible to read the screen. I took a crappy picture of it and you can view it here:

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/636/picture029wb.jpg

After that, I looked up the problem on many forums, with barely any fixes. Finally, I found something on notebookreview.com where one user said to hook the computer up to a T.V. He said if the image on the T.V. was still messed up then the problem had to do with the GPU and not the display. When we hooked his computer up to a T.V., the six screens turned back into one, but the image was still messed up and discolored. So we determined that the notebook's problem had to due with the graphics card. Here is a link to the website I got this information from:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=316518

Next, I decided to help my brother by re-installing the graphic card drivers for his computer. I don't remember where I got this fix from but it was on one of the help sites. I used the following site to do this:

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=52502

We took a break and my brother went to Walmart. While he was gone, I looked up his graphics card, which is a 8M series for notebooks. I quickly noticed that the 8M series had a HUGE problem for malfunctioning, and that Nvidia was in big trouble for this. Dell and Hp quietly made fixes for these problems, which would activate the fan in the laptops much earlier to avoid the gpu from overheating. This is were I got that info from:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13554_3-10020782-33.html

Unfortunately, I believe I found out that the Dell and Hp were only offering repairs up to August 2009.

So, my questions for this forum are SIMPLE, Is my brother's notebook's gpu fried? If so, is there a fix? Also, should I ever consider buying a laptop with a Nvidia graphics card again? I have already heard about them overheating in the past.

Thanks for anyone that has read this far. I know it is a lot of information, but I REALLY need the help as me nor my brother have a lot of cash to throw around. I appreciate any answers and will bump this until I get one. ;) 
a c 271 U Graphics card
February 8, 2010 10:47:33 AM

Have you contacted Dell?
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February 8, 2010 3:44:46 PM

I never contacted Dell because I just assumed they couldn't help. The computer is 2-3 years old and only had a year warranty.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
February 8, 2010 8:30:34 PM

I recall that there was a big fuss over Nv mobile GPU's a while back which cost Nv some 35 - 40m, so it might be worth seeing if you are eligible for some sort of out of warranty repair as the part was never fit for purpose in the first place and you had no way of knowing that when you first purchased it.
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February 10, 2010 6:47:36 PM

So, do you think that there are no more options besides contacting Dell. For example, I couldn't just get a new graphics card could I? :( 
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a c 271 U Graphics card
February 11, 2010 9:57:45 AM

You are not going to find the graphics as easy to change in a laptop as you would with a desktop, it's new laptop time.
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