Most of your already know where this is going... my laptop's been running fine until a few weeks ago it tipped over (it was on the floor leaned against the night stand) and the "Attempt to reset the display adapter and recover from a timeout failed" BSOD started happening. I cannot boot into regular windows but safe mode works fine. (Also regular windows works but in standard VGA mode)
I doubt any permanent physical damage was done for a few reasons:
1. It was hardly a fall that anyone would expect to damage anything
2. When I boot into safe mode, the Device Manager recognizes my GPU with no yellow exclamation mark (properties say that device status is unavailable in safe mode, presumably since SM does not load display drivers
3. I doubt the BSOD would reference a driver
file if there was physical damage
4. I took the card out and looked.
I booted into safe mode with networking and did some research and I found that this is a fairly common problem, yet very few people seem to find a definitive answer. After trying everyone's suggestions to no avail, I decided that the fall caused the heatsink to separate from the GPU and caused it to overheat (thus it was not responding to a reset).
So I tore my laptop open and removed the video card. There's no visible physical damage. So I took the leftover thermal paste and did my best to reseat the heatsink. (in iraq now so no radio shack
) Well it actually improved. I ceased getting the BSOD and I was actually able to boot a few times. However after about 10 seconds after windows loaded the entire system just froze. (Which seems to reinforce my theory)
Well I decided to do it right and ordered some arctic silver 5 from amazon and waited 2 weeks for it to get here. I followed all instructions to a T and was as meticulus as possible. But to no avail. the BSOD started up again, and I have yet to get past the windows splash screen. I tried reseating it about 6 times all with similar results.
Also I am almost certain it is not a software/driver/conflict/etc... issue since I tried system rollback(did nothing) and since I have duel boot and neither versions of windows will load the driver (although both boot into safe mode and show the GPU with no exclamation). I also updated the drivers to the newest available (about 3 weeks old).
I guess my question to you is, given the information at hand, does it sound like a thermal problem and I just suck at seating heatsinks, or does it sound like it is permanently damaged? I am hoping not because it was a $900 laptop and I've only had it just over a year.
ANY help here would be great. Like I mentioned I am deployed to iraq now and my computer is my only means of staying sane and I dont have the $$ to put towards another laptop.
PS Forgot to mention it's an nVidia Geforce 310M (275.33 WHQL)