Garbled screen on Sony VAIO SZ-series

Hi guys, the laptop is only a few years old, should be working fine even today.

It originally came with Vista, and I recently installed Windows 7. Unfortunely Sony didn't have graphics card drivers for Windows 7, so I was using Vista drivers instead (my only option).

That's as far as it went. It's been working fine for 5-6 months since then, until recently, when I've started getting a random garbling of the screen for a few seconds, which then went away. It would happen once a week. Once after one such garbling experience, I got to the Blue Screen of Death, with Windows saying that some .sys driver I've never heard of caused it (I'm a computer science guy, so I thought I knew my .sys files). Anyway, reboot fixed it.

Finally, last night, another such screen garbling moment froze the computer.

But here's where the problem began!

Startup is fine, things like Windows loading options show up properly, but in Windows is permanently garbled in 640x480 resolution. There is no monitor and no video card recognized.

How do I know it's not the drivers? Here's the worst part!

Although the start-up text shows fine, as I said, Windows loading options and things like that, the VAIO graphic upon turning on of the computer is garbled too. In just the same way that later on Windows becomes.

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  1. As a computer science "guy", why didn't you annotate the error to paper and then ask the question with that information? I've paid the bills for over thirty years working on computers and "don't know all my .sys files"! Tap the F8 key on start up and choose video mode 640x480, then attempt to change the resolution to native size. If that doesn't work, test the video output to an external monitor and size that accordingly. If that doesn't work, your video chip set may be toast...
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