My main issue revolves around lines appearing on screen during windows start up and an inability to install drivers for my graphics card, but I'll start from the top.
A couple days ago, a pop up came up that VAIO update found something new and proceeded to download the update. Soon after I started playing oblivion and it worked fine but it eventually crashed. Thinking nothing of it, but annoyed at losing a little bit of unsaved progress from my checkpoint I decided to opt out of playing it again and instead just elected to browse the internet for a it before bed. The next day, I returned to oblivion and it worked fine, but this time it crashed again at which point I stopped playing and switched to league of legends. The game worked fine with no hiccups with the exception of some annoying lag, likely due to another computer's bandwith usage at the time.
The following day, on startup I noticed that the very first screen the computer boots (black screen with VAIO logo) now had a series of gray vertical bars in spread out bunches. The next screen which is supposed to be black not displayed a series of opening brackets "(" one set per line in going like this:
(( (((( (( (( (( ((
and staggering each subsequent line. As the computer continued to boot, the loading windows screen also had faint dark blue lines going horizontally across the screen. However as soon as it finished loading I received a blue screen error called "Page Fault in NonPage Area". Subsequent normal boots followed the same process, and startup repair failed to fix the problem. I managed to boot into safe mode and remove all my important information of my hard drive at which point I thought it might be something wrong with a driver so I installed a new copy of windows 7 onto the hard drive After I installed the new OS, the blue screen error ceased to appear and windows would boot to the desktop but the lines and opening brackets still remain on startup.
I decided I could live with these lines on my home laptop since I intended to get another one soon anyways, and proceeded to reinstall my drivers. Everything went fine until I started to install the video drivers at which point the computer would return to crashing and I had to restore windows to an earlier point to get back to the desktop.
Anyways, I think that's the gist of it. I've seen people with similar problems get replies from everything to driver issues to GPU failures, with ridiculously varied remedies. I really appreciate the help, and if you need anything else I'll try to provide any information required. Thanks again.
Also I'm pretty sure that the hard drive is not that the problem since booting without the hard drive still presents the same lines and brackets on the laptop startup (No windows line obviously).
Well you ruled out a Windows or driver issue by re-installing. Your video card is bad, need to replace the motherboard on the laptop. Don't think it's the screen, that would not cause the crashes when you installed the drivers.
Thanks, that's what I feared. Any idea what such a fix would cost or if its even possible (keeping in mind I'ld like to retain about the same level of functionality as before)? And is it worth doing? Thanks again.
If the laptop is a few years old, may be worth the fix. A new laptop is about $500 for a non-gaming one, a motherboard replacement will be about 200-250 depending on the part cost. You'd have to check with whatever place will be doing the work though. Check with a PC repair shop first before any of the big stores. You may be able to get a used motherboard off ebay and save %50 or more of the part cost.