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Does the light associated with the hard drive flicker, stay on and then fade sometimes? If so - then the hard drive is working and the likely problem is a faulty screen. You can also try the function key plus whatever F key would increase screen brightness. (i.e. Fn + F7 on my machine.)
It sounds like your AC cord or the female plugin soldered onto the motherboard has gone bad and will no longer make a connection to charge the battery or power the laptop on.
You would have to try a new power cord to find out which is the problem. If the cord fixes it, then it was just a bad cord (as you said it gets very hot, this maybe a sign of a cheap cord that has gone defective).
If the cord is not to blame, then the female plugin is loose and there is little you can do unless your an expert at soldering.
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Unfortunately, you can't solve this problem. What I have learned as the tech working on a customers gateway mt6451 is that Gateway dropped the ball when they bought a cheap (they spent 5 cents instead of 20 cents) motherboard component that allows the adapter to charge battery and run the notebook without the battery installed, the component seems to have a 1 year if that life. I am surprised they haven't been sued or forced to extend the warranty (like HP had to with their dv8000 series notebooks) althought they would have to replace the motherboard with one that has an improved component on it. How do you sue a company or force them to extend the warranty for a replacement that is made with a better component?
leaving your unit in standby mode is not a problem as long as your ac adapter is plugged in to your ac outlet and to your pc. otherwise, you will have a drained battery. try removing your battery for a few minutes and then insert it back in then plug your ac adapter to your wall outlet and to your pc and leave it without starting your pc. notice the small pilot light at front edge of your laptop, it should be yellowish/orange. wait until this light turns green then you can try turning on your pc.