My gateway laptop last week decided to not start one day. I would hit the power on nutton, the hdd would spin for 3 seconds, then shut down, then wait 3-5 seconds and spin up for 3 seconds, then shut down for good. The screen never came on except one time and I managed to get the bios screen up once and ran a recovery (destructive, I was desperate) and reinstalled everything and it ran fine for about three days, then wouldnt start again today, exactly the same as before.

I took it apart, the fans dont run as soon as you press start, the cd drive does.

What and how should I start troubleshooting? my first three problems should be
1-power
2-bios reset
3- hard drive is toast

any ideas before i start throwing money at things that are not the problem?

Other notables, the led lights for the power are on, the back lightes buttons are on, the screen is blank/black.

Jpm

You'd probably get an error message if it was the HD.
The fan problem needs to be solved, as they are probably causing the no boot situation.