Sorry this is so long, please bear with me.
Unfortunately, I've spent way longer than I had hoped to in attempts to find any sort of solution to my driver problems. I've always had difficulties with drivers on my laptop, and I've been able to ignore them or work around them until now. The major problems started when I started playing a graphics-intensive game. I played it on all the lowest settings, and it worked fairly well for a while. But then it started to bottom out. The screen would flash several times before just crashing my entire system to the BSoD. I worked around that by playing in windowed mode. And that helped. For a while. At least well enough that I could sometimes bring the game back with some serious keysmashing (hey, whatever works) and also so I could see the error message "Display driver Intel Graphics Accelerator Drivers for Windows XP(R) stopped responding and has successfully recovered." Which I found exceedingly odd as my laptop came new with Win7. Regardless, I could still play relatively easily.
Unfortunately, the crashes became more and more frequent until I barely got in a few seconds before one, so I decided I would try and update my drivers.
Which didn't work as easily as I had hoped. Going through Device Manager told me that my driver was up to date, even though when I cheched the Acer site, there were more recent drivers. So I downloaded the most recent one (.2202) and tried to just use the setup.exe in it, but that gave the message "An error occured while registering one or more components." The older one (2119) gives the same message.
From there, I attempted to manually install. According to the instructions, that was suppose to be a file called "igdlh.INF" in the "Graphics" subdirectory. Neither update contained this file. So I went to the Intel downloads and tried several files, none of which worked. The closest to success I got was with Win7Vista_64_152252.exe which is a media accelerator driver for win/vista 64bit. Just running the .exe file gave the message "The setup program failed to install one or more device drivers." Just to check, I extracted the files in the .exe and, lo and behold, there was a igdlh.inf file in the Graphics subdirectory. Running this through the "Have Disk" in Device Manager gave me "Windows found driver software but encountered an error while trying to install it" which has been my problem all along.
As a last resort, I uninstalled the driver, under the assumption that I could get at least something back. Maybe out of frustration as well. Nope, couldn't get it back. I also downloaded the Win7 service pack, hoping it would help, and attemped to install all the drivers once more, but with the same results.
So now I seem to be stuck with 800x600 display with no aero, and, well, it sucks. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for all the words and lack of tech-speak, but I tend to lurk other people's problems and rarely post my own, but being unable to find any resolution, I have to ask for help myself. I also wanted to explain what all I've already tried as well as possible.
I don't know what all specs will help you, but I'm on an Acer Aspire 5745 and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with Intel HD Graphics and an i5-460m processor. The game isn't even that important anymore, I'd just really like to have Aero and my 1360x786 resolution back.
Thank you for any help!
EDIT: I appear to have also lost the ability to put my computer to sleep or hibernate, any ideas on that as well?