Alert from CNET Staff

 Attention forum users:  We want you to try out the new CNET forums platform! Click here to read the details. Thanks!

Laptop troubleshooting forum: Gateway laptop won't boot

by: pkingery-indy July 26, 2012 6:34 AM PDT

Like this

0 people like this thread

Staff pick

Gateway laptop won't boot

by pkingery-indy - 7/26/12 6:34 AM

I need help with a Gateway laptop "boot" problem - specifically, it won't (boot that is). I don't have it with me so I will be going on memory. A pastor friend's Gateway (red, MC series), ~4 years old, Vista, nice machine (well, it used to be a nice machine). When powered up, it goes to a sort-of safe mode boot screen offering to boot into "repair" mode or Vista. Regardless of which you choose, the screen goes blank, then after a moment or two, the same screen reappears. Thinking it was a boot virus, I tried booting off a USB stick (Linux OS) with AVG antivirus, and it did boot up, but could not mount the hard drive. At that point I guessed the HDD was shot. I then booted off another USB drive with a full Linux Mint OS, which booted fine (illustrating that the mobo, CPU, mem, GPU, sound, etc. were all okay), and miraculously, it could "see" the HDD and all the files. This was of great comfort to my friend in that he had many years worth of church records, sermons, Bible studies and Sunday School lessons on that machine. Finally, I tried booting off a USB drive with BartPE WinXP because I "thought" I had a little utility on it to rebuild the MBR (if that was the issue), but surprise, it would not "see" the HDD. I don't understand why Linux Mint could see the HDD and all its files, but WinXP could not. Anyway, my friend opted to borrow my Linux Mint USB drive, take it home with his laptop and back up all his files. Then sometime in the next few days, I will get his machine back to see if I can (like any decent computer tech) "resurrect" his hard drive. In my brief investigation, it does not appear that this machine has a hidden recovery partition (if there is one, Mint does not show it as a separate drive and I can't find it) so my friend will be looking to see if he can find the install CD's that came with it. Any ideas? Is it likely to be just a corrupted MBR (boot sector)? ...and if so, can I fix it with the Gateway Vista install CD? ..or is it more likely a completely bad HDD? Any suggestions welcomed. -Phil K in Indy

Forum Icon Legend

  • UnreadUnread
  • ReadRead
  • Locked threadLocked thread
  • ModeratorModerator
  • CNET StaffCNET Staff
  • Samsung StaffSamsung Staff
  • Norton Authorized Support TeamNorton Authorized Support Team
  • AVG StaffAVG Staff
  • avast! Staffavast! Staff
  • Webroot Support TeamWebroot Support Team
  • Acer Customer Experience TeamAcer Customer Experience Team
  • Windows Outreach TeamWindows Outreach Team
  • DISH staffDISH staff
  • Dell StaffDell Staff
  • Intel StaffIntel Staff
  • QuestionQuestion
  • Resolved questionResolved question
  • General discussionGeneral discussion
  • TipTip
  • Alert or warningAlert or warning
  • PraisePraise
  • RantRant

You are e-mailing the following post: Post Subject

Your e-mail address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the e-mail and in case of transmission error. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose.

Sorry, there was a problem emailing this post. Please try again.

Submit Email Cancel

Thank you. Sent email to


Thank you. Sent email to


You are reporting the following post: Post Subject

If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language

Spam: Advertisements or commercial links

Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users

Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Submit Report Cancel

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


You are posting a reply to: Post Subject

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to the CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to CBS Interactive Site Terms of Use.

You are currently tracking this discussion. Click here to manage your tracked discussions.

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Sorry, there was a problem generating the preview. Please try again.

Duplicate posts are not allowed in the forums. Please edit your post and submit again.

Submit Reply Preview Cancel

Thank you, , your post has been submitted and will appear on our site shortly.