For the past few years, we’ve been seeing many different laptops with video problems. The screens would be scrambled or black, but changing the LCD and inverter wouldn’t solve the problem. We diagnosed these laptops with failed motherboards, but because they were out of warranty the manufacturer would not repair them. When we looked for replacement parts, they were either prohibitively expensive or questionable because they might contain the same defective parts.
It turns out that all of the video problems were due to a problem with the graphics chip from nVidia, and a class action lawsuit was filed against nVidia for supplying defective chips to HP and Dell for their laptops. The lawsuit was settled in December 2010 with a $2 million settlement, but the claim period was surprisingly short; only 90 days for anyone to make their claim. The claim period ended March 14th, 2011.
For more information on the laptop models included and the failure symptoms, visit nVidia settlement.