A Brief History:
I have a Gateway Solo 9550 Laptop running Windows XP Pro that I bought in February 2002 with a 3-year parts/labor warranty. In April of 2004, the laptop died and wouldn't power up. I had to send the laptop back to Gateway, and they promptly fixed it and returned it to me. They told me they replaced an internal power supply and repaired a cable.
Last week (literally days after the warranty expired), the laptop died again, in the same fashion as in April of 2004. The support person I spoke to at Gateway said it sounded like a motherboard problem and that it would cost $399 for them to look at the laptop, PLUS the cost for parts.
How it died:
Both times the laptop died, it happened over the course of an hour or so:
1. First, the laptop began to slow down opening and closing applications.
2. Then the laptop would hang and not respond to anything, including CTRL-ALT-DEL to view processes.
3. I powered the laptop (which was frozen in an application) off using the power button, waited a couple of minutes, then powered back on.
4. The computer would begin to power on, and the fan would make a different whirring noise than usual, almost like it was bogged down, but the laptop would flash the "Gateway" Screen then would hang while trying to load the operating system.
5. I tried booting in SAFE mode, but the system would hang again while trying to boot up in SAFE mode.
6. Then after I tried to boot up in either SAFE or normal mode for about four tries, the computer died and wouldn't respond to any presses of the power button.
1. Pressing the RESET button.
2. Removing the battery, trying to power up, and putting the battery back.
3. Removing the AC power, trying to power up, and putting the AC power back.
4. Removing the hard drive, trying to power up, and putting the hard drive back.
None of these worked had ANY results. No fans or anything. The only lights I have are two lights on the front of the machine, which only go out when I take the battery out.
Does this sound like a motherboard issue? Can I troubleshoot and possibly repair this myself? What is the internal power supply that the Gateway tech said was replaced in April 2004? Could it be that again? Could it be a fan on my motherboard? And what would cause this to happen again after being repaired last April? Could any of this be caused by another defective part that is taxing the power supply or motherboard?
Any help would be appreciated. Even if it's to say that I should just pay Gateway to fix the laptop.