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how can I determine the model number of a Gateway M-Series Model SA6 Laptop?

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-01-15
Hi Everyone,

           For the purpose of attempting to locate a BIOS upgrade for my Gateway laptop, M-Series, Model: SA6, I am needing to determine the model number of this laptop.  Unfortunately, the support pages of Gateway does not have a listing for driver or BIOS upgrade support for a model SA6.  

           Perhaps there is a third-party program which can be installed; executed to determine the model number for this laptop which can be used for driver download and BIOS upgrade support from the Gateway website.

           Thanks so much in advance for any attention given to this question.

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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Expert Comment

by:Grayhat7
ID: 38753259
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ivanoviola earned 300 total points
ID: 38753265
Download SIW 2011 (build 1029) - Home Edition (freeware)
http://www.gtopala.com/download/oc/siw-setup.exe

This should give you the information you need.

IV
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Assisted Solution

by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 100 total points
ID: 38753275
Gateway has a black label on the bottom of the laptop, the label should list the model number. Some laptops even have the model number under the battery. Usually the bios is the best place, or it may show up as the computer is booting up unless the Gateway logo is shown instead.
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Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 38753326
Hi George,

First, as noted above, check whether there's a label either on the bottom of the laptop or inside the battery compartment that shows the detailed model number.    I'd expect that to be the case;  but it may have been removed or obscured at some point in the laptop's life.

If it's not that simple, it's almost as easy to just do this:   Download CPU-Z  [http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html ].    You can either get the full setup download and install it;  or just get the "No Installation" version -- get the appropriate one for your system (32-bit or 64-bit).    If you get the "no install" version, just extract the files, then just run the CPU-Z program.     Look on the Mainboard tab and it will show you the Model number of your mainboard and the current BIOS version.     This is all the info you need to be able to find the appropriate BIOS update ... just post the details here and we can help.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 38753383
Hi Everyone,

            Thanks so much for the informative replies given.  After carefully going over the feedback given, I made the decision to download, install, and run SIW 2011.  The link given by ivanoviola, http://www.gtopala.com/download/oc/siw-setup.exe certainly made it easy to obtain this very useful utility.  I found the model number of this Gateway laptop from the analysis or report given by SIW by simply selecting Hardware and then selecting System Summary.   The model number of my Gateway, M-Series, Model SA6 is M-7315U as determined by SIW.  Unfortunately, the model number of M-7315U was not revealed anywhere on the laptop or the battery.  

              Given the model number of my Gateway M-Series laptop being M-7315U, can someone provide a direct download link for any BIOS upgrade which might be available?  
The BIOS upgrade is needed to aid in troubleshooting and possibly fixing a technical issue being experienced with this laptop.  

               Thanks so much in advance for any followup assistance given to this personal request.

               George
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38753623
George,

The latest BIOS for the M73 series laptops is here:  http://global-download.gateway.com/GDFiles/BIOS/BIOS/BIOS_Gateway_9608_A_A.zip?acerid=634145967103168089&Step1=NOTEBOOK&Step2=M SERIES&Step3=M-73&OS=ALL&LC=en&BC=GATEWAY&SC=PA_6G

Note that there are 11 models in this series, but they all use the same chipset (GL40) and have very minor differences, so it's fairly certain they use the same BIOS ... but there's no specific BIOS link for the sub-models;  just for the M73 (which is the link above).

I'd do two things before flashing this BIOS:

(a)  Download CPU-Z as I suggested above (or look at your SIW report) and confirm that yours does indeed have a GL40-based motherboard.

(b)  Look at the BIOS and see what version you have now.    The latest version is 9608, dated 7/13/2010.    If you already have that version, there's no reason to reflash it.

By the way, what is the "... technical issue being experienced with this laptop ..." that you hope to resolve with a BIOS update?
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 38757471
Hello Gary,

        Thank you so much for the followup information Gary.  I apologize for not explaining the reason I was needing a BIOS upgrade.  Basically,  my AC adaptor is failing to charge the battery.  Originally, I interpreted such a technical issue as being caused by a defective battery.  In response to this conclusion, I ordered a new laptop battery; still experiencing the same issue.  At the bottom of the taskbar, I get a message indicating the following: Plugged-in but not charging.  

           With respect to more advanced troubleshooting strategies, I did test the voltage outputs of both, the power chord which connects into the brick of the Gateway AC adaptor; the DC voltage output of the power chord which connects into the laptop.  The voltage outputs of both chords were normal; did not show any signs of a break in connection or sudden drops in voltage whenever either of the chords were bent.   Secondly, I downloaded and installed the latest BIOS upgrade for this laptop.  The BIOS upgrade was successful as confirmed within the BIOS and the technical information given by SIW 2011.  And, finally, I downloaded and installed of the latest windows updates for Windows 7 Ultimate.  

             As you can see Gary, this has become a rather tricky situation to resolve.  Interestingly, the AC adaptor does supply power directly to the laptop even when the bad or old battery is left in it.  At this point, I am not sure if there are any other directions to go with this concern.  If you or anyone participating within this post should have any troubleshooting ideas or suggestions,  they will certainly be eagerly received.

              Thank you as always Gary for sharing in my concerns whenever I need help resolving a  technical issue.  

               George
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38758004
George,

Clearly there's something not working right with regards to the charging circuitry or in the communications with the battery.

From what you've outlined, I'd say one of the following is happening:  (a)  the charging circuitry on the motherboard isn't working;   (b)  the communication between the PC and battery isn't working correctly (modern batteries are "intelligent" and communicate status info to the computer);  (c)  the battery may not be properly calibrated;  or (d) you have a defective battery.

It's clear you do NOT have a defective power adapter, since you've measured the voltages AND the system runs fine without a battery (so clearly it's getting power).   Just to be sure, however, is this the original 65 watt adapter that came with the laptop?   If not, be sure it's rated at 65w (or more) ... an adapter with too low a wattage capability can cause charging issues like this.

To determine whether (b) is the issue, leave the laptop plugged in with the battery installed and the system off for a few hours;  then see if it will run with just the battery (i.e. unplug the adapter).    If so, then the battery is charging -- it's just not communicating with the laptop.   If that's the case, try recalibrating the battery -- i.e. leave the system on until the battery is completely drained ... then plug it back in and let it charge again and see if the system can now communicate with the battery.    Note that some systems have an option in the BIOS to recalibrate the battery -- look carefully to see if that applies here.

If the system simply won't run with only the battery, then either the charging circuitry isn't working (a major issue -- requires motherboard replacement) or use of an external charger;   or the battery is defective -- POSSIBLE,  but NOT likely, since you indicated this is a new battery.   Nevertheless, you may want to exchange it for another if you can do so.    [One other very unlikely possibility is that you have the WRONG battery for the laptop -- double-check what you bought with the requirements for that system.

In any event, I doubt very much that your issue will be resolved with a BIOS update !!

Note that you could charge the battery with an external charger [http://jcbarn.com/3071039.html ] ... but this is both inconvenient and a bit pricey ($75).
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 38776912
Hello and Good Evening Gary,

                 I apologize for the delay in getting back with you regarding your followup thoughts and suggestions.   With respect to the watts of this adapter, there is not any indication on the brick with respect to its rating.  If it will help, the model number of this Gateway adapter is 0335C1965.  When I purchased this laptop this past summer, it was used.  Therefore, I am not sure if the adapter is original to this laptop.  

                At this point, I do want to add something here which I believe to be of reasonable significance.  After using it yesterday, I did notice a drop from 94% to 75% when the AC adapter was disconnected.  Last night, I did connect the AC adapter back up eventhough the message at the bottom screen clearly indicated plugged in but not charging.  Today, the battery went from being charged at 75% to 97%, thus, indicating the AC adapter is indeed charging the battery despite of the message at the bottom screen indicating that it is plugged in but not charging.  

                With respect to troubleshooting this issue within the BIOS,  I did attempt to recalibrate the battery while there.  When I did this, I got the following error message within the BIOS:  "Battery malfunction (over voltage)  Learning Fail (BAT abnormal)  Interestingly, the AC adapter recharged the battery an additional 2% before displaying this errror message.

               I hope this additional information is of some use Gary.  If you should have any questions or if any of my feedback is unclear, please feel free to let me know; I will clear things up the best I can regarding this issue.  As always, thank you so much for your continued interest in finding a solution to this problem at hand.

              George
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38777001
Unless you somehow have the wrong battery (seems very unlikely) or the wrong recharger (also very unlikely), the most likely fault seems to be in the motherboard logic that "talks" to the battery.     This could be quite expensive to repair -- likely requiring a new motherboard.

If you're getting a reasonable run time from a fully charged battery (2 hrs or so, depending on just how you use the laptop);  and if it's in fact being recharged despite the message that says it's not;  then I'd be inclined to just use the laptop and not worry about it.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 38781063
Hi Everyone,

              First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank everyone for their participation within this post.  Each person certainly brought insightful and useful strategies for aiding in the determination of the model number of my Gateway laptop.  Unfortunately, the logical strategies given by web_tracker was not quite enough to determine the model number.  After realizing that, I quickly came to the conclusion that a third-party software would be needed to acquire the actual model number which could be utilized on the Gateway support page.  The program chosen, SIW 2011, which was given within ivanoviola's link http://www.gtopala.com/download/oc/siw-setup.exe made it easy to determine the model number needed.  After downloading and installing SIW 2011, I simply opened the utility, made the selection of Hardware, then, selected System Summary within the list of options given within the menu.  From there, it was easy to determine the actual model number of this Gateway laptop to be M-7315U.

                 Despite of the successful BIOS upgrade, I am still experiencing the message indicating the AC adapter is plugged up but not charging.  As explained in one of my earlier comments, the AC adapter is indeed charging the battery despite of this message.  With everything working fine at a functional level, I have decided to abandon any further technical troubleshooting on this issue.  I certainly am not inclined to replace the motherboard on this Gateway laptop for such a minor issue.  

                  Thanks again everyone for the shared input given to this post.  As always, I am walking away from this experience feeling good about it thanks to the great help given by everyone.

                   George
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