My son has a Gateway model # MT3422. He said that the fan stopped working and then the unit overheated and now it will not power-up. Is this the mother-board, CPU, or what? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Re: Gateway Laptop overheated and stopped working.
Usually when the laptop overheats the CPU shuts down, and after it cools down you may be able to power it up again, unless the CPU has failed.
If you are able to get the laptop working, get the fan replaced, if it laptop doesn't boot up then there is a serious problem (most likely a costly one).
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You laptop likely is not overheating per se, but it appears that the cable located between the video card part of the motherboard and the monitor may not be secured as it should. Vibration, and perhaps temperature, can cause this cable to shift ever so slightly causing symptoms that you describe.
If taken to a repair shop, the charge should be nominal for them to disassemble the laptop to the point where they can access and secure the cable. At worst, the cable may need to be replaced due to wear.
The easiest way to confirm that it is a cable or not is to try and plug in a monitor to the back of your laptop. If the problem appears on the panel, and not the external monitor, then you are almost certainly looking at a cable issue. If the problem appears on both monitors, then it is a different issue, perhaps overheating like you suggested.
There are devices you can purchase which aids in pulling more air through the system and keeping it cooler. One which I purchased and am quite pleased with is by Antec. It is a dual fan unit that is powered by one of your USB ports. You place your laptop on top of the unit, power it on, and it works wonders at keeping your system free from damaging heat buildup and those annoying shutdowns!
There are other units made by other manufacturers available as well. Some more expensive, some less. I have always had good luck with products from Antec and their price was reasonable as well.