Problems With Gateway Laptops

by Candace Benson

Gateway laptops may feature a number of issues, including power problems, thermal capacity issues, and hardware and software conflicts. Gateway has two ongoing battery recalls and has been the target of a class-action lawsuit due to its inability to honor extended warranties, which has affected a number of "Professional Division" laptop and desktop owners.

Battery Issues

Gateway participated in two voluntary battery recalls. The most recent one, which started on June 19, 2007 but concerns battery packs manufactured from May 2003 to July 2003, targets the 400VTX laptop (battery pack 6500760) and the 450ROG laptop (battery pack 6500761). The other battery recall deals with Sony Energy Devices Corporation-manufactured battery packs. Owners should look for the applicable part numbers, which are 916C4610F, 916C4720F, 916C4730F, 916C5010F, and W230. Effected laptops hit markets from September 2005 to October 2006.

Problems When Undocking a Gateway Laptop

Gateway laptops can experience a number of issues when undocking. In many cases, the user can perform a hard reboot by using the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination (users must press all keys simultaneously). Laptops undocked while in Hibernation mode can cause error messages and hardware devices to be unavailable. Windows Management Instrumentation errors arise when logging in after undocking. Also, a corrupt display may show on the monitor for several seconds following undocking. Once the laptop switches to independent power (battery or AC adapter), the display should revert to normal conditions.

Power Issues

Gateway laptops may overheat and shut down. Laptops in shutdown mode due to excessive heat will show a blinking orange light in the power indicator light. Users must wait for the laptop to cool down before resuming usage. Loose power connections can also cause problems, as noted by a number of users on independent sites. Occasionally, the user can resolder power connections on motherboards. Power issues may also be caused by faulty power supplies and battery packs.

Software Issues

Applications running on Gateway laptops may be slow. This may be due to conflicts between various software applications or hardware conflicts. Over time, a hard drive writes, copies and removes data. This data can become fragmented, which results in longer seek times. This places greater stress on the hard drive. Further, hard drives can become overloaded with data. This can be corrected by removing unnecessary files and programs and by defragmenting the hard drive as needed. Hardware conflicts can also be prevented by installing the most recent driver and by ensuring that Windows has not assigned multiple hardware components to the same port.

Warranty Issues

In October 2009, consumers filed a federal class action lawsuit against Gateway in California due to the company's refusal to honor extended warranties In the early to mid-2000s, Gateway offered extended warranties to desktop and laptop purchasers. In August 2007, Acer purchased Gateway except for its "Professional Division," which sold laptops, desktops, and extended warranties to small businesses and educational institutions. During the same month, Gateway sold the "Professional Division" extended warranties to MPC Corporation, a company with severe fiscal issues. MPC declared bankruptcy soon after, and Gateway repeatedly refused to honor extended warranties on laptops and desktops.

About the Author

Candace Benson has nearly five years of experience as a volunteer coordinator and has worked for non-profits and state agencies. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Benson wrote for a number of video game websites and blogs and worked as a technical support agent. Benson currently writes for eHow.