I do not know much about laptops, but wondering if it has a replaceable video card like the tower computers do.
If you're having this problem before windows starts, it's most likely hardware-related - not software. With the exception of the hardware drivers. Drivers tell the computer how to use the hardware. Sometimes drivers get corrupted and need to be updated or reinstalled once in a while.
Now, there is something you can try to check. If you can get it into Safe Mode and reinstall the video/display drivers. See if that helps.
If that does not help, either some wire that goes between the screen and the inside of the computer may be broken, the screen itself is bad or the video chips inside may be damaged.
Personally I don't think it's good for laptops to be on for an extended amount of time because they don't have as big cooling fans as the tower computers. All the stuff inside is a lot smaller than regular computers and it's all packed in there in a small space. I think usually they only have around two fans, one on the power supply (necessary) and one on the processor. But I could be wrong.
You don't have to go to a large chain store repair service. Look for the little stores and ask around. Sometimes they have better, more knowledgeable and geeky people working there than in the bigger stores and may charge you less because they will take less time to figure out the problem.
Sheeba - born 11/14/07 at 12:30 pm