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Yes you can use one that has an higher current rating. The system will only use what it needs. If you try to use one with an lower current rating the power supply would fail. Just check to make sure the pin out is the same..ie postive tip or negtive tip.
Well, 8 years is an excellent life for any laptop battery. Being that old it will either be a nicad or nimh battery, both of which suffer from battery memory. There is very little you can do. Sometimes, charging the battery as much as possible, REMOVE IT FROM THE LAPTOP, put it into a plastic bag, seal it against moisture, and then put it into a freezer for 12 hours. Replace it into the laptop, charge it again, repeat twice more. If the battery has a bit of life in it you may be able to reclain SOME of it's capacity back. This is a last ditch effort, and should be carried out as a last option. That leaves either buying a new battery, this eBay link will take you to one http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-Laptop-Battery-for-Gateway-Solo-2300-2500-9100-9150_W0QQitemZ230370600615QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLaptop_Batteries?hash=item35a32866a7
It's probably time to replace the whole laptop though.
Hope this helps
The simplest way to do this would be to: First turn off the laptop and then connect the keyboard to the laptop while it is still off. Then turn on the laptop and it should work as the computer installs the software from the keyboard onto the computer as it boots up. This should work.
Sorry to say that there is no way to upgrade usb 1.1 ports to usb 2 as it is related to the chipset connected to them. Windows service packs do not help in this case where it is hardware to be changed. Try looking for a PCMIA card that has usb 2 ports on.