I just discovered, because it failed on my machine, that the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT which was shipped in some macBook Pros made during 2007 has an issue which causes a very high failure rate.
Apple has an article about it:
” At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within three years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.”
My machine had been having some intermittent trouble recognizing an external monitor, and then last Saturday night, while trying to rescue some files off another failing HD (Yes, I lost 2 drives in 48 hours…) I had to reboot and the screen never came on again. the next day I tried 2 different external monitors, and those did not work either. A quick Google search produced the article mentioned above.
One trip to the Apple store later, and I am now without MacBook Pro for at least a week. Luckily I had an old version of Mac Office installed on a G4 machine I use to run Tiger. No video production for me, but I can send email and do Word.
Even though I had installed a new HD myself on my out-of-warranty machine, the “Genius” said that if it was in fact the graphics card, and all indications were that it was, the repair would be free. It will mean a new logic board for the computer. I anxiously await the call from Apple telling me it is fixed.