This laptop is @ 1 year old.The power switch is hidden in the hinge portion of the monitor.Lately the unit is difficult to power on unless the monitor screen is moved forward and backward while pushing the power button.This method doesn't work 100% of the time but I got it powered up and found this community.I won't send it off to Gateway because of the time involved and my local vendor(not B.B.)wants $79 per hour to look at it.Can this be done by anyone?or should I leave it to a professional?
"Can this be done by anyone?or should I leave it to a professional? " Depends, can you generally trust yourself to change a light bulb?
The most likely problem is a bad plastic hinge attempting to engage a bad plastic switch. Either or both could be the problem. The switch could very well be the lesser of the two evils, a defective hinge could be very problematic to the point of a new laptop. It's time and money v. accumulated aggravation, it doesn't help at all that the body itself is plastic.
"Patience is a virtue." - Anon.
Laptops are somewhat delicate so it depends on your experience and willingness to take a bit of risk. It certainly can be done but you need to be prepared for the possibility that something will go wrong and that you'll end up going to a tech with a larger problem than you started with.
I had a laptop with broken hinges. I bought new ones on ebay and installed them myself. I broke a small wire leading to the screen and had to put that back together but in the end the hinges and the machine worked. I then had a problem with the power plug and that required a bit more disassembly than I was comfortable with so I took it to a tech and paid $100 to have it done.
There are instructions on disassembly on the net. Here is one example of a complete Gateway disassembly (disassembly) You can probably find others with a search. I saw mention in one post that someone with a similar problem couldn't get the switch from Gateway so that is one thing that you'll want to sort out before you start pulling it apart. If this isn't your kind of thing then find a good local tech and pay the money.