In 2007/08 Nvidia, the graphics card manufacturer produced a range of graphics chips that were later found to be inherently faulty. Laptops fitted with these faulty chips get very hot in use and after a while start to show distorted display patterns and eventually no display at all. In addition wireless card problems are other manifestations of the fault.

Despite what many laptop repair companies claim, there is no real long term solution to this problem. Reworking or reballing the chip will usually provide a short-term fix but the underlying faulty design of the chip will cause the failure to return sooner or later. How soon depends on how much the laptop is used. The heating up and cooling down of the chip is what leads to the failure so the more the computer is switched on and off the sooner the chip will fail again.

Don't accept a repair by your retailer without asking for a written guarantee of what is going to be done. As pointed out above, reballing and reworking are not permanent fixes and If they say they will change the type of graphics chip be suspicious. It is unlikely that this is possible without a new motherboard fitted and the chance of there being a board compatible with the laptop case is small. The only thing we recommend is to ask for a refund (full or partial) or a brand new laptop. Some retailers like John Lewis, Staples and Costco are very good while others which I can't name for obvious reasons are shockingly bad and you will have to threaten them with The Small Claims Court.

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What Can You Do About This Problem?

     
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Let Us Prepare A Detailed Report For Your Retailer.
Using this report approach your retailer (not the maker, your contact is with whoever sold you the laptop) and ask for a refund or replacement because the laptop was inherently faulty, plus the cost of the report (£40.00 if prepared by us). The Sale of Goods Act is on your side here and you have 6 years from the date of purchase to commence an action. Don't be put off by excuses that the manufacturer's warranty has expired or any other stalling tactic. The chances are that the retailer will have had many similar cases to deal with and knows that they are liable. The secret is not to get put off. NvidiaDefect.com has standard letters you can download from their site which will help you if you are asked to contact head office.

     
How To Go About Claiming A Refund
There is no better resource available than this website, www.nvidiadefect.com. It was setup by Lapcure a laptop repair company in response to the large number of laptops failing with the Nvidia chip fault and the owner decided to do something about it. They have helped many owners to pursue a full or partial refund of the laptop purchase price.
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Models and Graphics Chips Affected
Nvidia's 84000m & 8600m were the worst affected but many others were also inherently faulty. These chips have also failed in large numbers: Nvidia 7600, 7200, 7150, 7100, 7000, 6100, 6150 and some of the 9000 series including the 9200 (GPU REV G98-600-U2).

Most manufacturers had fitted these Nvidia chips at some time so nearly all of them sold models that were affected. We have seen the Nvidia graphics failure on all these makers products: Sony, Acer, Dell, Apple and Asus but by far the worst affected seems to have been HP who compounded the problem by never really admitting there was any fault and even where they did they tried to make out it only affected a small proportion of the models fitted with the defective chips.

     
Examples of The Nvidia Fault

  • Apple realised how bad this issue could be to its image and is an example of how to put things right. Apple Support
  • The Inquirer, an IT website revealed 3 years ago that all Nvidia 8400m & 8600m chips were faulty. The Inquirer.
  • Sony belatedly admitted to problems but even then their list doesn't include all the faulty models. Sony Admits Nvidia Fault
  • HP was sued in the USA in a class action which documents some of the affected laptops. HP class action.
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