I'd like to hear opinions on what the possible options are for diagnosing this problem please:

I have a Gateway laptop that I recently purchased from eBay.

The laptop was fine, but one hot day it locked up and I dropped the battery out of it to to turn it off. (ya, I didn't know any better) When I tried to restart, I got no screen, one set of lights on "on" button push, no beeps (I think), I can hear fan. While the computer is sitting "off", the battery dies.

I took it to Fry's and had it diagnosed and "fixed". They said that they just had to "re-seat" the RAM. The also ran a diagnostic test on the laptop (using PC-Doctor) and it passed with flying colors. When I picked the laptop up, it worked.

I brought the laptop home and booted it up, installed my wireless network card and plugged the battery back in as well. The battery does not recharge, but all else is working fine and then my son pulls out the power plug (ie wall adapter and only power supply to the computer). When I attempt to turn the computer back on, I get the whole shebang all over again! The computer won't startup - I can hear the fan, see a light when push the button, but nothing else.

I tried to take out the harddrive and the RAM that I could get to via screw driver and re-plug them back in. Still nothing. I tried switching the RAM and I also took off the wireless card and took out the battery, but still nothing.

So, now I'm sitting $120 poorer and the same problem with a non-working laptop.

Can anyone offer any suggestions or ideas? Or at least help me figure out what to say to the Fry's guys when I take my notebook back in there and cry about it.

I'd certainly appreciate ANY help at all.

Thanks so much,

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Just a thought here since no one else has responded...
Have you tried replacing the cmos battery ...
Maybe try removing and reinstalling it....
By pulling the battery and reinstalling it you might be able to clear the cmos...
Shooting in the dark here but it is something to try...

Thanks for the input!

I researched it online and it seems that the three things that keep popping up are the power supply and motherboard/CMOS battery.

I'm really scared to try and open up my laptop and replace the battery myself though. So, we'll see.

The guys from Fry's called and basically told me tough luck. They think it "might" be the motherboard (but didn't say for sure). They also claim that this issue is different from when I took it in a couple days ago. Ya, so I'm still in the hole $120. Meanies!

Thanks again for writing for writing me back!


Just trying to help.
Just for fun ...Yea right..
Put a volt meter on your power supply to see if you are getting proper voltages for your machine... Some take a single voltage some take 5vdc and 12vdc...
Wiggle the cord etc...
If you can borrow a battery or power supply that would also help figure the problem out.

Good Luck...

I just did some checking and WOW...
Sorry you bought a Gateway...
They have some real problems.
One in particular is the charging circuit for the main battery...
DO NOT REPLACE the battery... There are stand alone chargers that will work fine.
I could not find anything on the Gateway site that would help with the CMOS battery replacement
Dell shows you how to tear the things all the way down...

Which Model do you have?
The Solo 2150 seems to have a huge problem with charging circuits...

I just did some checking and WOW...
Sorry you bought a Gateway...
They have some real problems.
One in particular is the charging circuit for the main battery...
DO NOT REPLACE the battery... There are stand alone chargers that will work fine.
I could not find anything on the Gateway site that would help with the CMOS battery replacement
Dell shows you how to tear the things all the way down...

Which Model do you have?
The Solo 2150 seems to have a huge problem with charging circuits...

Oh yeah, guess I should have said which model - it's a 600YGR.

I read about that battery problem with the circuit board of the battery, not the cells, but I can't even use my computer with a power cord plugged into the wall. That, alone, would make me happy.

I might have to toughen up and open the thing up, but I checked into prices for motherboards and the cheapest I could find was through eBay for $200, but isn't "guaranteed". Yeah, you think I'd learned my lesson the first time. Lol.

Thanks for spending so much time on this.


I found a link that will get you past the keyboard and down to the cpu and most likely the CMOS battery.

The following link has information for disassembly and removal of the keyboard of the Gateway 600YGR notebook computer. This will give you access to the CPU's fan and heat-sink area. After you remove the screws on the heat-sink/fan unit you'll need to provide some effort to remove the heat-sink as it seems to be attached with some adhesive. Not to worry, you can remove it and restore it after applying the thermal compound.


Look for both a silver quarter sized battery and possibly a shrinkwrap set of batteries with a wired plug for RAM backup during hotswap of batteries. Not sure if it has both but many do...

You should always replace both...

The adhesive heat transfer on the cpu should be the only tricky part...

Good luck and check back if you have any problems

Thanks. I'll let you know if you turned me into a Junior Electrical Engineer.

Haha. ;)


Oh no not a 600YGR, those are bad laptops, I've replaced motherboards on about 30 of those things. Sounds like a definite motherboard problem (I thought maybe it was some Hibernation mode thing till I saw you say what model you have), I've seen similar problems with those here at work and usually I end up replacing the motherboard and heatsink as for some reason there have been allot of heat related issues with that model as well.
If you take it apart and replace the board just organize the screws real well, you will need a nut driver to removed the nuts on the back of the laptop (the ones your external monitor, printer, etc.. attach to) and you can pry the keybaord cover off by putting a small flathead screwdriver under it just above the ins/del keys. Under that cover you will see 5 screws securing the keybaord and then it can be removed, after that just take your time and it should go ok.

Since I'm working on one now I'll add that when you are removing the motherboard you will need to remove a screw securing the audio outputs then lift it off the board, uncrew 2 screws that hold the hard drive connector to the board and remove it, and don't forget that on the bottom of the board you will need to removed the modem card by removing one screw. There is also a silver piece of metal that you can push back to take out the board which is where the laptop battery connects to the board.


Thank you so much for the tips!!

I am still "shopping around" for new mother boards.

In the meantime, do you think it would be more reasonable to simply attempt to replace the CMOS battery and see if that does the trick? Or just go ahead and take the plunge with the motherboard (and maybe even heat sink)? (However, I do know that the fan is working, not sure if that means the heat sink is working as well.)

Oh, one last thing...when looking for the motherboard it will say somethinglike, "works on a 15.1 or 15.7 chassis". How will I know which one I will need?

No problem, the fan is on the heatsink itself so a cheaper approach may be to find and replace the heatsink first as it has fixed some problems for me (usually blue screens and random shutdowns) but with no video at all it sounds motherboard related (sometimes the fan may turn on but not function properly) if you replace the heatsink make sure it has a good thermal pad or use a decent thermal compound on it. You can replace the CMOS battery but I highly doubt that it is the problem. The 15.1 or 15.7 size is refering to your LCD on the laptop so it really should not matter to the motherboard. If you really want to check what yours came with go to gateway.com and click technical support, there you should be able to type in your serial number then click on My Support Documents for a list of what your pc came with where it will say what size LCD it has, here is a link to the page:

To be honest though your laptop may still be in warranty, have you checked it already?

It's a long story actually...

SHORT STORY: I'm screwed and almost $1,000 in the hole.

I bought the computer off of eBay for $700 in June and took it home for the summer (vacation). I bought a bunch of wireless networking stuff for it while back and started having problems with various keys not working, so I purchased 1-year tech support through Gateway for $150 - but they sent the information to my home address, not to where I was visiting.

So, when I got home, the computer key problems went away (maybe because it was no longer connected via wireless network as I had to wait for the school's networking people to set me up.) Anyway, during those few days, I dropped the laptop battery out of the computer to turn it off when it got hot and locked up -- at the time, I didn't know how else to turn the thing off. Then, it wouldn't restart (same thing, fan runs, light on, but nothing else).

So, I used my Gateway Tech Support and they said to call warranty department because it was still under warranty. "Thank Gosh!", I thought! Then the warranty people told me that it was a stolen laptop and that I could not have it serviced. They told me to contact eBay/PayPal to get my money back, so I did. eBay/PayPal told me I needed a police report to even "try" to get my money back. (Mind you, I "tried" to get my money back from PayPal before and ended up being out $500, but that's a different story.)

So, I called the local police department to try and get a police report and they said that becuase it was Internet related that I had to call the FBU Internet Frauds Dept. So I did. And the phone number was an answering maching message directing me to a website with a long, detailed form to fill out. I filled it out and, basically, got an email back saying "we get thousands of emails monthly, we may or may not be able to get back to you". Oh great!

So that was a few weeks ago when I finally decided that I should just go get the thing fixed. I took the laptop to Fry's and pumped out $120 for a diagnosis ($90) & "re-seating of the RAM" ($30). They got the darn thing to work and I was in heaven for about 2 hours!! While the battery wasn't recharging, at least the computer was working! And THEN, my son pulled out the power plug while it was on and *BOOM* same exact problem again -- won't turn back on!

So, I took it back to Fry's so that they could tell me what the underlying problem was, not what the "symptom" was. They pretty much told me that it "is now a different problem from when I brought the computer in the first time and that reseating the RAM again is not fixing it". Ya, I know, I tried to "re-seat the RAM" before I took it back to them (btw, they charged me $30 for something that took me, literally, 2 minutes to do *insert random cuss word here*). But, SOMETHING is causing it to bump the RAM each time it is turned off inapprorpriately to begin with and that's what I wanted to know for my $120.

So, anyway, that's my story. Did you make it through reading the whole thing? :eek:

Well from my experience that problem you have is the same exact one you had before, I've seen them do the same thing and if you turn them off and on it may turn on 1 out of every 8 times or so and then work normal for awhile and then at some point act up again. You may possibly have a bad battery to boot or likely it is also related to the motherboard problem, sorry to hear that you are having so many issues with it, I guess worst case you can part it out and sell the lcd, hard drive, wireless nic, and other parts from it on Ebay.

That's one positive way to look at it! I can hawk the parts one eBay -- hehe.

But, this laptop is the "love of my life" -- I'd be very sad if I had to do that.

I guess the debate is whether or not to buy a new motherboard and take my chances or start saving for a new laptop.

You've been so much help -- thank you thank you thank you.

The problem I have found with these computers is the heat sink. The mounting post that holds the heat sink in place is soldered down, with time and heat these posts break loose. When gateway fixes these computers they just solder the post back to the board, I have created an easy to follow step by step how to. It is posted at this sight: http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforu...html#post136690

The link to the Gateway site showing how to remove the keyboard is very helpful. Using that I went the full route and got to the CPU fan and heatsink. My 600ygr started intermittently locking up after I had been using it in my truck as a gps. Suspected a heat problem. The unit has a lousy design, like most laptops, in that they do not allow any reasonable space under the unit and when it is not on a flat surface the cpu does not get enough air. When I took the fan/heat sink off there is evidence of overheating and the thermal compound is basically non existent. Tomorrow I'l get some thermal adhesive and put everything back together and see what happens. In the meantime, I've purchased an auxillary cooling fan with dual fans and which as feet which can allow it to sit above the surface it is sitting on. I'll let you know tomorrow whethr the operation has been successful. I'm also interested in bypassing the thermal control so that the cpu fan runs continuously, since I almost never run the unit on the battery alone, either on ac or in my vehicle.

I have a Gateway 600ygr laptop which started locking up regularly after being used as a gps receiver in my truck. Suspect it is due to overheating. Took it to two different shops and they could find nothing wrong. It seemed like the fan would not run after the initial 2-3 second burst when the pc is turned on. Since the cpu is a 2.0GHz P4M I'm sure it generates lots of heat.

I tried reinstalling Win XP but that did nothing. A couple of months ago I Googled the proble but found nothing recognizable. Couldn't find anything on Gateway's site; I don't think they really want you tampering with their laptops. Last Saturday night I gave it another try and got a link to this discussion group and found a link to Gateway's site showing and describing how to change the keyboard. Of course, getting the keyboard out of the way opens up the entire system! Yes, the heatsink was so hot that I couldn't keep my thumb on it for more than a few seconds. I decided to bypass the fan control circuit by connecting the fan directly to the 5V supply. Easily found 5V on pin 1 of the usb connector, clipped the red wire going to the fan and patched it to the 5V. (By the way, I removed the heatsink/fan assembly and discovered that the original thermal compound has been reduced to black smudge.) Replaced the heat sink compound, reinstalled the heatsink and the computer has been running continously with a slide show for two full days now. Nothing but cool breezes out of the rear of the computer. I really am not concerned about battery life so I'm a happy camper!

Now I can start reloading all of my programs...

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