The dd method seemed to work. I looked at the contents of the resulting file and it had a nVidia BIOS version and other info.
Does your laptop also not have the black terminal problem?
I am interested in the exact modelnames and a bugreports of laptops which do NOT have the powermizer problems (but do have a 9xxxm card)
I started a new thread for that. Could you please post a reply there.
I don't have any issues starting with 185.xx. I used to have an occasional graphics glitch where I'd have to restart X in 180.xx but that's since disappeared. Suspend works, powermizer functions correctly, and it's generally overall good.