After installing the new driver and rebooting, his LCD is black. Nothing, nada, zippo. My friend is not completely computer illiterate but he's not a computer guy. So, he decides to use the much-vaunted Gateway tech support. He calls tech support. The tech guy tries to get him to boot into safe mode. This doesn't seem to work - there's still nothing on the screen.
The tech guy's next suggestion? Reformat your hard drive and re-install the OS. My friend is like, "What? Hell no am I doing that!". So, he hangs up on that guy, fiddles around a bit, and calls tech support again. Different guy, same proposed solution.
Coincidentally, his computer is still hooked up to the LAN from our party last weekend, so he decides to check something. Sure enough, he can see his desktop system via a laptop on the LAN. This gives him another idea. He unplugs the LCD (using a digital input) and plugs in an anolog monitor. Sure enough, he can see his desktop again. Apparently, the updated nVidia driver effed up the digital output, but still worked with analog display. Uninstall driver, plug in LCD - all is back to normal.
He ended up calling and complaining to a manager, but she didn't seem to care all that much.
So much for the vaunted Gateway tech support!