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I'd doubt that the hard drive is bad. Most times the Factory Recover does not work especially from the discs.
Why not try reinstalling Windows, because you've probably wiped out your
operating system by trying the recoveries. Look on the bottom of your
laptop or inside the battery case for the Certificate of Authentication
(COA) Sticker. It will tell you what verion of Windows you have and it
will have your registered Product Key Code (series of 5 letters and
numbers). If you don't have an operating system disk, then borrow one
from a neighbor, friend, relative or co-worker. It has to be the same
operating system that is on your COA sticker or it will not work and you
won't be able to activate windows. If your COA says Windows Vista Home
Premium, you can't use a Windows Vista Home Basic operating system
Sometimes activation can be tricky so when you come to the part where it
asks for the Product Key give it the key from the COA Sticker on the
bottom of your laptop. Sometimes it will not want yours but want the
key that came with the software you borrowed so if it is not on the
packaging ask the person your borrowed from to give you the Product Key
from their COA Sticker. Don't worry, theirs is theirs and yours is
Borrow a repair disc or system disc from a neighbor, friend, relative or co-worker. Just make sure it is the same as the Certificate of Authentication (COA) sticker on the bottom of your laptop or inside the battery case. The COA Sticker tells what version of windows you are licensed to have and it has the product key which is a series of 5 letters and numbers.
In this case I would recommend you to please try and locate the 25 alphanumeric product key on the label of the disk itself or on the cover of the disk
Try to locate the product key on the COA (Certificate of Authencity) Label.
If still you are not able to locate the key, please try the following keys:
Please let me know if it was of some help
I think you mean the key to access windows vista home basic. The key should be located on the back of you laptop near some bar codes it should be 25 caracters long like XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
You can be sneaky: Download a nifty program called the "ProductKeyFinder" it should be free. Run it on your friend's computer with the EXACT SAME operating system and and copy down his key. If you get in trouble that's too bad.
If you dont have a key, also known as a COA, on a label on the machine then you will need to get a new license from Microsoft or a Microsoft reseller. Cant supply you with one as each COA key works on one machine and it's against Microsofts license to pirate the keys.
You can call Gateway and order a replacement CD for $30 or so. If you have a friend with an Operating System disk, borrow it. As computer turns on, press key to enter BIOS (usually F2) and find where it says "Boot Order". Set the CD drive to boot first. restart the computer, Press any key when prompted. Use the COA label on your computer for a serial number. Being a Gateway, you will need an OEM disk for this, but can be any OEM. You will have to change the product key on activation. Do not tell Microsoft you used a different CD, or they will blacklist you. Once the activation is complete, your COA should work fine.