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Nonlinear Fabry-Perot switching effects have been observed in a 400 μm long GaAs/GaAlAs MQW strain-induced waveguide resonator. Experimental evidence showing that the mechanism responsible for the switch has a negative coefficient in the refractive index nonlinearity is described; this rules out the possibility that heating could be the cause of the observed switching. However, thermal effects were always present in the background and became more prominent at slow input-power sweep rates. Bistability due to increased absorption has also been observed in a similar nonresonant waveguide structure, at slightly longer wavelengths.