I have been using my laptop for about 5 years without any problem. Recently I installed Windows 7 and everything was working fine as expected. I also have a linux installation in my laptop and the dual-boot works fine.
When I was using Windows 7 last month, at some point the computer crashes and when I restarted the nvidia driver did not work anymore. I thought this issue would have been settled if I reinstall the whole system from scratch and reset all the settings to the factory in the BIOS. However, the issue still persists and at the moment the nvidia driver for my GPU does not work anymore. I have to install the driver on my OS but the result is still the same: failure. As a result, my display is dodgy in Windows and Linux as well.
I would like to know if anyone has come across this issue before? If so, how did you solve it? How will I test my GPU to ensure that it is not faulty and may need to be replaced?
My configuration is as follows:
GPU: GeForce 8400M GS, 250MB
OS: Windows 7 and Opensuse 11.4
You could be a victim of "Bumpgate". Basically you could have one of those defective Nvidia chips that made headlines a few years ago. And there usually is no "replacing gpus" in laptops, they're usually soldered to the motherboard.
Edit: Affected chips were all the G84, G86s, G92, and G9sl series. Yours is G86M, the mobile variant. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.