Copied and pasted from my Livejournal.
Nvidia and Microsoft have gotten me unholy pissed off.
I wouldn't even know where to start this story, and the information I have found out since my computer troubles is so wide and varied that writing all I know would take up a novel-length tome. So here are the basics:
- I have an HP Pavilion dv9500 laptop, purchased in July 2007 for $2000. It came with Windows Vista and a Nvidia Geforce 8400GS 512MB graphics card. I didn't have any problems with it for over a year.
- At the beginning of October the LCD screen died. I was three months past the expiration of my warranty, so my dad had the LCD replaced through a local company which was a drama in and of itself.
- I get the laptop back at the end of October. My dad said everything was in working order, and he had done some Windows Updates--including installing Service Pack 1--before sending it back to me.
- I am joyous to have my computer back in working order. Before logging in to World of Warcraft, I check to see if there are any more Windows updates that need to be done. Three are recommended, and towards the bottom of the list, I see an optional driver update for my graphics card. "Driver update, cool," I thought. I included it in the update, then logged into WoW.
Then all hell broke loose.
After being in game for 5 minutes the screen flickered violently, went black, and then the computer froze. I was forced to do a hard reboot. After logging back into WoW, the screen started flickering again, but before having to reboot a second time, I caught the name of the error I was being given. Windows said that my display driver had failed and recovered, and that the file nvlddmkm.sys was responsible. "Fine," I said. "This time when I reboot I'm going straight to Google and finding out what this error means."
I guess that was the last time my computer ever functioned normally. When I rebooted that second time, the screen did a weird horizontal split down the middle--it was like I had two squished copies of my desktop crammed into one screen. It wouldn't boot up unless it was in Safe Mode. I tried EVERYTHING--uninstalling the drivers and reinstalling the old ones, uninstalling all the updates my dad had made (wouldn't let me uninstall SP1 though, the bastards), and doing various possible fixes that have been suggested around the web. Nothing has worked. Ended up having to order boot disks from HP, which arrived Friday. Formatted my C drive, reinstalled Vista. Everything looked great. Installed WoW. No flickers. Started up WoW--after 5 seconds of the login screen, LCD flickered, went black, and on reboot, was straight back to being a split screen.
I have shed so many tears over this it's not even funny. According to my research on the web, this nvlddmkm.sys error is affecting literally tens of thousands of people, since early 2007, and there is not ONE SINGLE FIX FOR IT. Nvidia has acknowledged that there is an error with there equipment but has no plans, as far as I can tell, to fix it. (It has since come to light that Nvidia's entire 8- and 9000 series of cards made within a certain time period is borked with faulty hardware that will cause the chip to overheat and fry.)
So basically, I am out a $2000 laptop that I haven't even finished paying for, and there is nothing I can do about it save paying $600 to get the motherboard and chipset replaced. With my family's current financial situation and the economic crisis, we can't afford that. We can't afford ANYTHING right now. I'm furious and upset as hell, not only because I've been screwed over by Nvidia and M$, but thousands of others have too and these companies aren't doing jack shit to alleviate the problem.
I'm researching my legal options. I won't be suing myself, but if there's a class action lawsuit out there that I'm eligible for (and I've heard rumors of some), then I'm hopping on the bandwagon. I just want to be reimbursed $2000 for a laptop that is pretty much only good for being a boat anchor now.