I was just using my laptop to view a website and the entire LCD screen went blank.
On restarting, there were a load of commas all across the bottup screen. SUbsequent screens show regula rpatterns of orange aquares and or flickering blue squares.
I cannot get to the XP login prompt to do anything else so I started it up in safe mode and could login and see the desktop but the screen still has blue squares across it but in the background (ie XP OS screen is overlayed successfully).
Any ideas on what this could be?
I have done 2 system restore to earlier points with no change.
I think the only options are a boot virus or more likely because of the safe mode operation that it is a video card or driver problem?
Edit: I just uninstalled the driver and started up in safe mode and the main display worked but still had those blue squares across the screen.
On trying to reinstall the dell nvidia driver, I got an error about the display imgmirror not working and to restart, still no luck after that.
Download Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, burn the ISO to a CD/DVD and then Live boot it with your laptop. If you're still getting these video errors I would say your video chip/GPU on the motherboard within your laptop is either physically damaged or needs to be cleaned up or your LCD panel has some problem somewhere. If you're not getting any video corruption after Live booting Ubuntu then I'd say your Windows XP OS is messed up somewhere and you should format->partition the HDD and reinstall the operating system. I know it can't be your memory module(s) because you don't get video corruption like that from bad ram blocks.
Also, upon Live booting Ubuntu you should get a message pop up telling you if there's anything wrong with your HDD (bad sectors, etc..)/APU/RAM/GPU/PSU (lacking amperage)/etc..
And if after formatting, partitioning and reinstalling Windows XP then the correct drivers for your hardware you're still having video corruption then it's most likely your GPU. Don't worry though, in those laptops the GPU PCB is removable and you can just order another one from ebay/amazon.
Could there be an issue with the CPU as well? I noticed sometimes that on starting up, the CPU runs at 488MHz instead of the 1.7Ghz max. I thought this might be related to the software Notebook Hardware Control but could also be an issue with the CPU. Will the Linux CD show that up?
I assume even though the drivers aren;t installed, the video card needs to be in to display some sort of graphic on the screen, I can't just take it out and run with crap graphics in the meantime?