Started up the laptop the next morning and everything was fine for a few minutes then the screen scrambled again and it was dead. Spent some time tracking the problem and found that it was a bad motherboard. Too bad; the laptop had a one year warranty and it was 18 months old. Considering that I'd had 5 previous hardware failures on this laptop I decided to write it off and get a new one.
This new Sony laptop is very nice. One of the first things I did when I got it online was to visit Slashdot. I discovered a story about bad Nvidia chips and understood why that damned HP laptop died.
I've extracted the hard drive from the dead HP and recovered the files that I needed. I hear that HP has extended the warranty on the affected laptops; I've also heard that HP tends to lose laptops that get sent in for repair. I'm not sure what to do next.
One option is to take that HP laptop out back and beat on it with a hammer until I get my money's worth out of it. The other is to send it back to HP and let them fix or lose it. I'm not sure yet; I know that I don't want to mess with that piece of crap any longer. But do I want to inflict it on someone else? Maybe the hammer treatment is the best option.
One thing is for sure - no more HP equipment. None. That laptop, that scanner, that all-in-one - enough. I used to trust HP but now fully understand that they're simply selling crap that only lasts until the warranty is up. Never again, HP - no matter what you say or do you've lost this customer forever.