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what are the steps in checking for BIOS updates for a Gateway M-Series (Model SA6) laptop?

Posted on 2013-01-05
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Last Modified: 2013-01-15
Hi Everyone,

              I am needing any step by step instructions given within an article or preferably within a multimedia link, like YouTube, which explains how to check for BIOS updates of the following pc laptop: Gateway M-Series (Model SA6) laptop.  The operating system on this laptop is Windows 7 Ultimate.  If more technical specifications for this laptop are needed, please feel free to ask and they will be furnished upon request.  

              In the meantime, I will look forward to reviewing all submitted feedback to this post.  Thanks so much in advance for any attention given to this request.  

              George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:dbrunton
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There are probably more model numbers for this laptop such as M-7301u M-7305u M7315u M-7325 M-7328u  (see http://shop.mcccomputers.com/9478-new-gateway-sa6-m-series-m-7301u-m-7305u-m7315u-m-7325-m-7328u-bios-battery-8589638072721.html where this came from) on yours.  Can you look and identify?

Even with that information may not find a BIOS upgrade.
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by:dbrunton
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And note this http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/help/whichbios.shtml

Grab that information from your screen.  Will need it if we find BIOS updates for your machine.
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by:GMartin
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Hello

           Thank you so much for your prompt replies.  In response to your followup questions, I do have some extra information which might prove fruitful in locating the correct BIOS updates for this laptop.  The BIOS is a Phoenix BIOS; its version number is 96.04.  At startup and restart, I was surveying for a string series of numbers that is normally out beside of the BIOS ID, but, there were not any present.  

          Upon closer inspection, I did find this laptop to be the M-Series, but, there was not a model number of the M-Series given.  If this information will help, I did notice the manufacture date of the laptop to be 09/22/08, Model: SA6.0.  The P/N is 1SA60000023.  

          In closing, I apologize for not being able to locate more specific information.  But, everything which is presented here is all that is given.  

          I hope this additional information is useful.  And, thank you once again for your interest in assisting in the resolution of this concern.  

          I will look forward to reviewing any further feedback you may have regarding this question.  

           Thank you.

           George
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Looks like the M-7305u has this bios.  However I can't find any upgrades for this machine.

https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?hl=en&tab=nw#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=M7305u+bios++96.04&oq=M7305u+bios++96.04&gs_l=hp.3...35.35.15.1115.1.1.0.0.0.0.285.285.2-1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.rCXcD0zt5wc&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.dGY&fp=1585625df7f66034&bpcl=40096503&biw=1143&bih=677 shows the 96.04 bios and M-7305u model both together.  Again however I can't find any sign of a BIOS upgrade

I've been looking under http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?tab=1&modelId=3014 on the premise that this is 7000 series and a 7300 Model and there is no sign of an update there.

I suspect you've been recommended to upgrade the BIOS of this machine to fix a problem.  Upgrading a BIOS is an easy answer to make to solve a problem and gets used by many people in answering questions.  However if there is no BIOS upgrade and the person who made this comment hasn't checked that there is one, then it is not the correct answer.
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by:nobus
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George, can you tell us why you need the Bios upgrade?
maybe there is another solution for it
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by:GMartin
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Hi Everyone,

                I apologize for neglecting to explain the situation which requires some troubleshooting.  I have a Gateway M-Series (Model SA6) laptop which has been experiencing battery charging difficulties.  When I originally purchased this laptop, I did notice the message, "Plugged in and not charging" on the bottom screen when the AC power pack was connected.  Thinking this situation was caused by a defective battery, I simply replaced it with a new one.  To my surprise, I did notice the exact message when the new battery was installed today.  Interestingly, the new battery itself is fine because the laptop does power up just fine with 87% power remaining within it.  The message only appears when the AC power pack is hooked up and the battery is connected.  

               In an attempt to problem solve the failure of the battery to charge, I went into the BIOS and carried out an attempt to recalibrate the battery.  When I did this, I got the following error message within the BIOS:  "Battery malfunction (over voltage)  Learning Fail (BAT abnormal).   The AC power pack is a Gateway (Model: 0335C1965).  The voltage output is suppose to be 19V and 3.42A.  I do have another open post which gives suggestions, tips, and some multimedia links explaining the steps in determining the voltage output of AC adaptor power packs.  At this point, I have not attempted to gauge the voltage output of this AC adaptor yet.  Instead, I have been gathering together as much information as possible to begin a more thorough investigation into this matter.  

              Once again, I apologize for failing to open up about the history of this problem which will require additional troubleshooting.  If the information presented requires further clarification, please feel free to let me know; I will respond right away.  

               Thank you.

               George
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by:dbrunton
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No problems, George.

Now did the old battery show a percentage of power remaining as does the new battery?

And how well did the laptop run on the old battery?

And at this stage I wouldn't worry about the BIOS, just test the voltage coming out of the charger.
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by:nobus
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and with the battery and adapter in, check if the charging figure goes up, and with the adapter disconnected, goes down
these steps will help to show if :
a-battery is charging/discharging
b-the adapter is delivering power into it (circuits)
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by:GMartin
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Hi Everyone,

               Thanks so much for the followups.  At this point, I do have a few updates which should address the additonal questions and curiousities about the problem at hand.  First, the old battery does not have any charge at all.  And, when the AC power adaptor is connected, I merely get the message indicating the it is connected but not charging.  Secondly, using a YouTube link illustrating the steps in checking a laptop AC power pack in conjunction with a digital multimeter, I got the following test results: 1. The power chord connector which goes into the AC power adaptor brick resulted in a reading of 121v with a slightly varying decimal number or fraction.  I did check the bends while gauging.  The resulting number of 121v remained stable, thus, indicating the connection to be good without breaks in the wiring inside the chord.   With respect to the laptop power connector, I got a stable reading of 19.02v as an output reading.  I also did check the bends in this chord as well while gauging.  The resulting output reading of 19.02 remained stable, thus, indicating the wiring inside the chord is likely to be good.   While the 19.02v output reading for the laptop connector is certainly on the money, the 121v output reading for the power chord itself might be slightly high considering the standard for the states to be 110v.  But, I am unsure about that part.  

              In closing, if someone could give a followup analysis of the results obtained through these multimeter readings, it will be appreciated.  Just at a glance, these numbers appear normal; nothing out of the ordinary.  

              Thanks again everyone for the continued input given to this post.  I will look forward to reviewing any additional shared thoughts, tips, and suggestions.

              George
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by:dbrunton
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Don't worry about the AC figure.  That's OK.  Quite possibly the charger is rated for 110-240 volts AC operation - that is common with many chargers.  If so then 121 is OK.

If it is only rated for 110 volts then 121 is still OK.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity#Standardization

In the United States[3] and Canada,[4] national standards specify that the nominal voltage at the source should be 120 V and allow a range of 114 to 126 V (RMS) (-5% to +5%). Historically 110, 115 and 117 volts have been used at different times and places in North America. Main power is sometimes spoken of as 110; however, 120 is the nominal voltage.

Similarly the DC power figure is OK.  Nothing wrong there.

It does appear that the old battery is definitely dead.

Now can you get a 100% charge out of the new battery?
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by:GMartin
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Hi

         No, I can not get a 100% charge out of the new battery.  I merely get at the bottom a message indicating "Plugged in but not charging".  Interestingly, the AC adaptor does give power directly to the laptop because it will keep the laptop on even with the dead battery in it.  The AC laptop adaptor simply does not charge the dead battery and the new battery.  By the way, the closest I have come to it charging the new battery was within the BIOS.  It charged it up to 2% more from 85% up to 87% before stopping and giving the error message,  "Battery malfunction (over voltage)  Learning Fail (BAT abnormal)".  

        George
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by:dbrunton
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Hmmm.

Gateway recommend a BIOS upgrade.  See here http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/2009/Ajax2/MC73faq3.shtml but I can't find a BIOS upgrade for this laptop.

Let's see if we can get a better idea of which model this is.

See http://www.ehow.com/how_6874447_computer-number-gateway-start-menu.html and http://www.laptoprescue.com/Gateway-find-model-info-laptop-charger-ac-power-adapter-model-specific/ and also http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00286/4000286su2.shtml (try the My Current System Info link there)

And the following link http://support.gateway.com/support/supinfo/index.asp?pg=2&file=mo.html is here for later in if we need it.
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by:nobus
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you can test if the adapter outputs current with this setup :
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by:GMartin
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Hello Everyone,

           I hate to be the carrier of bad news, but, I could not determine the model number of the Gateway, M-Series, Model SA6 laptop.  The bottom of the laptop only indicates Model SA6 along with the P/N and S/N.   When I utilized the link http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00286/4000286su2.shtml in an attempt to determine the model number, the built-in program by Gateway seem to experience difficulty checking all of the hardware.  The message Checking devices..... did stay on the screen for at least 20 minutes before I decided to close it thinking it was not really doing anything.  At the bottom of the screen, I did get the following message while Gateway was checking devices... "This webpage wants to run the following add-on PCPitshop Module from PCPitshop (unverified publisher)... Since I did not really know anything about this part of the analysis, I simply closed the window on that part as opposed to selecting the option to Allow.  

               Perhaps there is a program which I can download and install locally or from my harddrive to determine the model number of this Gateway M-Series, Model SA6 laptop.  At this point, it is certainly worth a try if such a program exist.  

               George
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by:GMartin
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Hello

            I finally have some good news for a change.  Upon review of another open post,  I was able to download, install, and run a program, SIW, Version 2011.10.29r Home Edition.  When running it, I made the selection of Hardware, then System Summary.  From there, I was able to easily determine the actual model number of this Gateway laptop.  The model number of this laptop as determined by SIW is M-7315U.  Given this information, do you think there is a BIOS upgrade available?  I am reasonably confident this will resolve the issue at hand if such an upgrade is accessible.

            Thank you

            George
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by:dbrunton
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BIOS updates are here

http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?tab=1&modelId=3015

This is for the Model 7310 but according to http://support.gateway.com/support/supinfo/index.asp?pg=2&file=mo.html

Your model is included in one of the corresponding "Series" categories. For example: The M-153X is located in the M-15 Series category. The M-6320 is located in the M-63 Series category.

and that places the 7315 in the 7310 series.

Now there are two BIOSes there and I don't know which one you need or if they are relevant to your system.  Run SIW again and see if it can identify the motherboard and whether it is a 915G chipset motherboard.
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by:GMartin
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Hello

             Thank you so much for your quick reply and research into this matter.  At the moment, there are Windows 7 updates being configured on this laptop.  Just as soon as the configuration of the updates are complete, I will certainly run SIW again; reply back with the motherboard ID information.  

             Thanks again for your help.  I will be back in touch in a few minutes.

             George
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Hmm.

That may be the wrong link I gave you.  Have a look at http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?tab=5&modelId=2359

This may be the correct one rather than the one I gave earlier.
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Yeah.  The link above makes more sense than the one I gave earlier.

The upgrade BIOS there is a 9608 and your present BIOS is a 96.04.  Looking inside the file I can find Phoenix which is your BIOS.  That is most likely your BIOS.

The first link to the BIOSes don't have numbers in the same sequence.

Yeah, your board is a M-7315u which puts it in the M-73 section rather than the 7310 series.
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by:GMartin
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Hello

          Before beginning my closing remarks to this post, I want to sincerely thank you both for participating within this question.  As always, I certainly did learn a great deal from this experience.  I especially appreciate the resourceful links given by dbrunton.   Of all of the links, http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?tab=5&modelId=2359 was proven to be the exact BIOS upgrade needed for this particular laptop.  Download and installation was very easy; went smoothly,  In fact, the BIOS software even gave the option of backing up the old BIOS before carrying out the upgrade.  The success of the BIOS upgrade was confirmed within the BIOS configuration when I entered into it after the restart of the laptop.  The BIOS  upgrade from 96.04 to 96.08 was further confirmed upon running SIW 2011.  

             While the BIOS upgrade was successful, it did not exactly resolve the issue of the  operating system indicating the AC adapter is plugged in but not charging.  Interestingly, what looks like a problem is not a problem at all though.  At this point, I better take a moment and explain what I mean here.  The other day, I did notice a drop in the laptop's battery charge from 94% to 75% when the AC adapter was disconnected.  Later that evening, I began using the laptop with the AC adapter connected.  As usual, I got a message at the bottom of the screen or taskbar indicating the adapter was plugged in but not charging.  When I powered it down after about a couple of hours of use; powered it back up only using the battery, I did notice something very interesting at the taskbar with respect to the charge of the battery.  The charge within the battery increased from 75% to 97%, thus, indicating the AC adapter did indeed charge the battery despite of the message given at the bottom screen when it was connected.  

              To make a long story short, I have decided to abandon any further troubleshooting sessions upon this particular concern because of the simple fact that the AC adapter is actually charging the battery.  Of course, there is always the question of "why".  Why does the operating system say the battery is not charging when the AC adapter is connected?  From another post, I was given a plausiable explanation for this.  As I understood what I read, the circuitry on the motherboard which is responsible for charging the battery may be somewhat faulty by failing to properly communicate the status of charging to the operating system on the laptop.   Given this explanation, the solution which would totally solve this problem would involve replacing the motherboard which would be too risky and certainly too costly to correct such a minor issue.  So, I have decided to adopt the golden rule here.  "If it is not tore up, don't fix it".  

               In closing, thanks so much once again for the insights, time, and research put into this post.  I am certainly happy enough with the outcome of this troubleshooting session.  

              George
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