Broken graphics card on a laptop - any options?


Nov 7, 2016
First of all, I understand that most problems are software related, but I'm pretty sure this one is a hardware problem.

I've got an Alienware 14. A little over a year ago, I noticed my computer was suddenly lagging (I game and also do a lot of image analysis and processing at work). Device manager didn't recognize my NVIDIA GeForce 765M, and was running everything off of the integrated graphics card. Couldn't reinstall drivers no matter what I tried (including manually wiping and reinstalling the drivers). Brought it to OIT (it's technically a work computer) and after a lot of exhaustive effort, they agreed it was a hardware problem. Dell replaced the motherboard (then under warranty), I had to use a back-up computer for a month, and it was finally fixed!

Now, warranty has recently expired, and I couldn't install 2015 C++ redist (x64), so I tried updating Windows 7. Stupidly, I decided to let Windows try to update the graphics card (it was running fine but couldn't update through NVIDIA's updater, so I suspected it might be having problems again). Now, I'm back at square one... device not recognized, no driver, can't install a driver.

Any thoughts? It smells exactly like the last problem, so I'm pretty convinced its hardware. However, I'm happy to take any other advice to try to convince myself it isn't software (I tried installing driver through Windows and NVIDIA). Can this be repaired for any reasonable amount of money outside of warranty? Do I need a new motherboard? Is there any way to slot in a second graphics card and bypass the whole issue? Could I possibly convince Dell to extend the warranty post hoc? I might be able to get work to pay for it....

Thanks in advance!