Background:After nine months of using this laptop
, I noticed new a BIOS was available at the Gateway website. Flashing the BIOS, a piece of cake, came to mind as I have done it so many times for desktop PCs. Flashing the BIOS from CD was painless and the laptop booted up. I did the presumably, normal BIOS setup which was a lot less in a laptop than desktop. The fun began, it would not boot at all afterward. Nothing! Oh well, resetting the CMOS is a simple task on desktop but not on a laptop. I IM’ed with Gateway support. One hour later, I was offered a free repair and confirmed that the laptop had to be taken apart to access the CMOS battery. A “package” was sent to me to pack the laptop for shipment in 2 business days; I was told the repair would take approximately 7 days.
Love taking “things” apart as a kid, I was pondering for awhile afterward. The next hour was spent trying to disassemble the laptop. I have had the pleasure taking three “Toshiba” apart previously. There are always “secret/hidden” couples of screws that prevent the process from going forward; this MT3705 is no different. Removing he “cover” plate will show the LCD panel hinges allowing the LCD panel to separate from the “chassis”.
With the motherboard taken out, I took the CMOS battery out and reinstalled it two hours later. Temporarily hooking up the LCD panel and keyboard, the system finally came back to live again.
I have been very patient with the Vista preinstalled; hoping some of the annoyance of the new O/S would soon be corrected with SP1. After nine months and this episode, I ordered a copy of Windows XP, imaged the Vista using Acronis True Image for later use; the next day I was back to familiar ground. I couldn’t be happier.
However, going back to XP was only possible after one of our readers wrote to me that Gateway MX3702 XP drivers would work on MT3705
. I did encounter a slight problem with sound driver at the beginning. After SP2 installed and all the Windows updates, the driver was working at last. If yours came with Realtek wireless PCIe card, it is better to get the driver from Realtek directly once you have identified the model.
On the other hand, only Gateway version ATI Catalyst would work at 1280x800 resolution and not the latest from ATI. This was the main reason I did not switch to Windows XP on my first attempt earlier this year. The 4-in-1 card reader still wouldn't recognize 4GB SD card. This has to do with hardware rather than driver. Now, I can't wait for Windows XP SP3 release.
After the OS “upgrade
”, I tested driving it into eBay land and came to a dead stop in front of a 1.66Ghz, 667 FSB, 2MB T2300E. 30 minutes later, I became a new owner of this $41 (shipping included) baby. Why did I do that? Well, it took about 1 hour to get to the CMOS battery, I could do the same again to replace the CPU; for $41, at least I could give it a try.
To refresh your memory, Gateway MT305
reviewed previously came with;Pentium Core Dual T2060, 1.6Ghz 533FSB 1MB cache
2x 512Mb PC2-4200
100 GB PATA Hard drive
Vista Home Premium
1280x800 14.1" LCD
I replaced the memory two weeks after I purchased the laptop to 2 x 1GB G.Skill PC2-5300. I could not complain much other than getting new copy of MSOffice 2003, Nero 7 and occasional cursing :(.
Warning: Gateway provides warranty repair of your laptop for free including postage; what I have done has voided the warranty.