Have you updated the graphics card driver recently? i really don't think it's the card going bad, when a card goes bad, you'll see artifacts on the screen, dots, lines (horizontal and vertical) that appear randomly.. bad colors and stuff.. try to go back to Windows 7 default theme and see if this happens again.. and check if you have the latest drivers for your Laptop.
EDIT: the google black bar is a test from Google, it also happens on youtube, i guess they're trying out some black theme for their websites. That was what i read somewhere, i can't remember right now. but the bar is not part of your problem... so i'd discard that