Well, 2 days ago the Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M on my Dell Latitude D830 stopped working properly.
When I rebooted the machine, the DELL logo on the BIOS splash screen was scrambled with random dots in vertical alignment. (see attached screenshot)
The laptop was able to boot the Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit but it throw a BSOD while loading nvlddmkm.sys.
I rebooted the laptop again and again, but without success.
When I deinstalled the NVIDIA drivers using Windows's SAFE MODE and then rebooted the machine in normal mode - the Windows booted normally. (however I had to disable the automatic driver installation using gpedit.msc from the run prompt).
The strange thing is that when I leave the laptop off for the night and turn it on again in the morning, the BIOS boot screen dots are gone and everything seems normal, but Windows is still throwing BSOD. I guess when the video card goes warm, the scrambled screens come again. The BSOD is also scrambled as described.
I updated the BIOS to A15, installed the factory drivers from support.dell.com, rebooted and got a BSOD stating "Hardware malfunction". (see attached screenshot)
I guess this must be a hardware issue, but can't comprehend how the system can run without video drivers, while still the video card is in use.
Any help will be appreciated.
Run the video diagnostic (F12 at powerup).
If the error comes up there or persists, note that there is a 1-year service extension on the known-faulty nVidia chips in these systems - Dell will replace the mainboard.
F12 at powerup is the enter BIOS key.
I've ran the diagnostic tool that checks the RAM for a long time, but there was only one video test with horizontal and vertical color bars, which was successful.
How to run the video diagnostic?
F2 enters BIOS. F12 should bring up a boot menu that includes the Dell diagnostics - let those run and then boot to the 32-bit diagnostics. Run an extended video test -- though this is more confirmatory than anything else, since it is all but certain you have a bad video chip.
Yes, it happened to be a faulty video card.
I was told by the Bulgarian Dell service partner www.progress.bg that the motherboard will be replaced and currently I am waiting for the parts to arrive.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the company's service and can highly recommend them.