I'm starting this new thread here because I hope that maybe this problem is not confined to only my brand and model of laptop, and that other users have seen or heard of it before.
I own a Dell XPS m1730 notebook. The notebook is nearly 19 months old. Yesterday morning while browsing the web and uploading photos to Flickr, the notebook froze with the screen flickering a still image of the web page I was viewing. It was unresponsive, and I had no option but to shut it off. Now when I boot it up, the screen repeatedly flashes red, green, blue, white, and black about 1 second apart. I don't get any Dell booting display or any POST information, but the laptop does boot into Windows Vista because I can hear the Windows loading sounds and I can shut it off by hitting the appropriate keystrokes from memory.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? Are my graphics cards fried (dual Geforce 8800 GTX in SLI)? Or could it be that some connecting cable between the display and the graphics cards is loose or broken? Maybe it's the LCD display itself?
I tried connecting the laptop to my TV to see if it's a problem with the LCD screen, but I either don't remember the correct keystrokes to switch to it, it's not fully set up in the Nvidia Control Panel, or this is also part of the problem because I can't get that to work.
I've seen detailed disassembly instructions for my laptop online, but I'm very reluctant to do anything of that caliber myself for fear of making things worse - especially since I don't know what the problem is.
I sincerely welcome any educated guesses as to the source of this issue. This laptop is my baby. My sole source for news, music, movies, games, and communication in a foreign country - not to mention an essential productivity tool for my job. It's only been a day since the problem appeared and I'm already very anxious and really depressed. I don't have the money for another one. Please help.