Several ways to do this first see if theres a recovery partion check my computer if u see a second local drive thats usauly it check the gateway web site to see instruction on how to enter it , if not get yourself an xp sp 2 cd and download the drivers from gateway for your machine before you do this or make sure you have a second internet machine u can down load on and burn or usb drive! when rebooting the machine enter the bios make sure the cd is first boot device save exit reboot with cd make sure you format first always read carefully and make sure u understand before you hit next next next..... but heres a link for it anyway...http://support.gateway.com/s/Manuals/Mobile/8510799.pdf
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You had better know what your going before you do this as it will erase the operating system too, making the disk unusable until you install the operating system again. Call Tiger Direct and buy an internal HDD adapter cable... it has a USB plug on one end and will allow ANOTHER PC to read it like a Flashdrive. Remove the HDD for our PC and connect the adapter. Using the other PC, format each directory separately, usually there are two: a C: and D:. You can also extract all the data files you have stored on the HDD BEFORE you reformat it. If you don't see files on the old HDD, use the START... type in "cmd"... then the old HDD name as listed in the other PC, for example, if it's Q:, use the command "CHG DIR Q:\" This will change to that HDD. Type in "TYPE DIR/W/P and all the directories should show up. If it's blank, you have a bad HDD and reformatting it won't help you. Buy a new HDD from Tiger Direct, at least 500GB at the fast spool speed. Have you original Genuine Windows CD-Rom ready and the key code and install it in your good HDD.
You can hold down the power button of your Gateway notebook until it shuts itself down.
You can turn it back on & you can go to safe mode. You need to continuously press F8 before you see the Windows screen.
This should let you choose if you want to go to Safe Mode.
Once you're on Safe Mode, you may need to back up important files as there may be a virus that has attacked some vital Windows component like a Rundll file that let's your notebook boot to normal mode.
After that you can reformat your notebook just for good measure.
Check this out, here's a step by step guide in doing a reformat,
From the information you provided it sounds like a bad DC jack, first check your power adapter with a volt meter if you have one accessible. If your power adapter is outputting the proper voltage, then within a 95% certainty its your dc jack. You can look at this website here for more info on dc jack repair, if you dont have the proper tools to fix it.