Purchased a M3438G in September 2005 from new, so I've had it little over a year. It has been working fine up until two days ago where the laptop LCD screen automatically turned black during use and needed forceably resetting via powering down.
After rebooting, the graphics on-screen was shown to be completely garbled, but the problem has seemed to have gone much deeper and has affected even the BIOS and DOS startup sequence.
It's easier to show photos, as they're more descriptive:-
^ Above shows the F8 boot menu, which shows corrupt characters. As is the Operating System menu below:
The Microsoft "welcome" screen is displayed something like this:
... followed by:
Once the OS is "loaded" the main Windows desktop looks like this:
Which, obviously, is utterly unusable. However, I found booting into "Safe Mode" in Windows works fine and uninstalling the nVidia graphics drivers in this way also allows you to at least boot into the main/normal Windows desktop afterwards, but it's very slow at updating the screen as the CPU takes over all graphics duties. Thus I'm led to believe it's GPU related, but not sure why DOS and BIOS would still be affected.
Using DOS, such as checking the hard-disk (as shown above), results in corrupt characters, as shown below:-
Attempting to carry out a full Windows re-install doesn't cure the problem, either, and the characters within DOS are still garbled, so it's certainly not a driver issue:-
Booting into the BIOS gives dotted/stripes in some of the displayed layers of graphics, too.
I guess the GPU is kaput. I'm guessing it has been due to a defective temperature/heat issue as when playing 3D games occasionally the whole computer used to cut out after 30mins of gaming. The noise of the fan also seemed to ramp up overly quickly too. This is in England during winter time, with a room temperature of about 18°C at most, so there's no ambient stress placed on it.
Furthermore, the access to the fan has ALWAYS been kept very clear and completely clean (no dust or fluff), the laptop is even propped up an inch or two on all four corners to allow better airflow underneath, and I'm not a hard core gamer so don't drive it hard in that aspect so much.
Does anyone know exactly what the problem could be, and if it is a GPU issue why the DOS and BIOS are affected too? Where do I send the laptop for repair (LaptopsDirect.co.uk , or Fujitsu, or another?) and what are the cost implications in getting something like this fixed, as well as any insurance and posting aspects?
The computer is otherwise in perfect condition, there's not a scratch on it as it's been exceptionally well looked after and cared for. I'm absolutely gutted.
Thanks kindly for any info anyone could perhaps give. I couldn't find an email for Fujitsu Support, and it's easier to display pictures this way.
2 x 512mb DDR2 RAM
256mb GeForce Go 6800