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Gateway M460 Laptop Doesn't POST with New Seagate Hard Drives

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February 12, 2011 2:42:09 PM

I have a Gateway M460 laptop in which the hard drive went south rapidly due to SMART error detection. I was able to pull all my files from the hard drive using Recuva by connecting it to another computer via a USB adapter before it really got into trouble. I wanted to upgrade the hard drive on the machine to a 80GB (the maximum size per Gateway's website). This machine has a PATA/IDE type drive. I have the restore disks for this machine here ready to go. The machine will POST with the old HDD installed, but the restore disc is unable to reload the HDD due to numerous errors and failures. Fair enough. But the point is that the machine does POST. I can access the BIOS and the machine 'spins' up the old HDD.

Enter the new 80GB Seagate drive. This is a brand new drive. If I connect the drive to the machine, the computer will not POST. Immediately upon pressing the 'power' button, the second light from the right in the status indicators turns purple and the machine just sits there. This purple light is the module indicator and is supposed to indicate that the module is ready to swap. Whatever that means. No BIOS, no spin-up of the hard drive, no access of the CD drive which is primary.....nada, zip, goose egg.

Take that new hard drive and connect it via a USB adapter and the drive can be partitioned, formatted, accessed, anything you want on another computer. I used Partition Wizard to do all this stuff. I even made the drive partition 40GB to match the size of the original drive and made the partition 'active'. Put the drive back into the M460....purple light on power up and .....no POST, no BIOS, no spin-up of the hard drive, nada, zip, goose egg.

I have removed the battery, removed the CD drive. In deperation I swapped the new hard drive with an older 30GB that I had laying around and the restore discs run flawlessly. I've even updated the BIOS to the latest version when I'm able to access the BIOS with either the original drive or my 30Gb stand-in connected.

I also tried a 100GB drive partitioned down to 40GB. Same purple light.

I've tried all of the jumper settings (master, slave and cable select) without any difference (on the 80Gb and the 100GB). I'm at my wits end. What am I missing? Even if the M460 doesn't support an 80GB hard drive, wouldn't it be fine partitioned as a 40GB hard drive? The original hard drive is a Toshiba. But that shouldn't make any difference. Is there a known incompatibility with Gateway and Seagate? I've never come across this issue before. I need some help and you folks are the best resource. Your thoughts and help are greatly appreciated!
a b D Laptop
a c 96 G Storage
February 12, 2011 3:09:50 PM

Before you do any drastic changes, start the computer as is. Then externally connect the new HDD (Seagate) and perform a cloning operation per Apricorn's directions using this: http://www.apricorn.com/product_detail.php?type=family&...

Continue with Apricorn's directions, install the new cloned HDD, and restart.
February 12, 2011 3:40:34 PM

Subject: Gateway M460 Laptop Doesn't POST with New Seagate Hard Drives

SHORT Answer - Mobo "nearly" dead - if not MB then the IDE ports itself. Of course - if PS + cables checked and 100% NP.

Reasons: usually more then one - Unstable PowerSupply, overheating mobo+proc+chipsets (dust dirty) etc. The 1st HDD is probably OK (after "LowLevel" format it would be functional). While Data, as told, are saved, test on some other PC - Win USB connected or as internal use DOS (non WIN appz) to Wipe/Erase HDD = format only NOT enough.
Related resources
a b D Laptop
a c 84 G Storage
February 12, 2011 4:25:25 PM

partition size does not matter only hard drive size.

is there a BIOS update?
February 12, 2011 4:41:02 PM

Hello all, and thank you for your responses and suggestions. I don't believe this is a mobo, power supply, IDE connections issue, or the like as the laptop successfully restored a 30GB hard drive with the restore disc and runs perfectly well with that hardware. The BIOS has been updated to the most recent version and functions correctly. I can clone the 30GB restored hard drive to the 80GB Seagate, but I don't believe that will not work either as the 80GB (or the 100GB) Seagate drives do not even 'spin up' when power is supplied via the laptop. That purple light (module swap something or other) turns on as fast as the power light on the machine at start and the machine just hangs. It won't matter if there is anything on the drive or not, the BIOS is not starting the drive. One last thing, to address the power supply issue again; the replacement drives use less power (lower amperage) than the original Toshiba, so, I don't believe we have a lack of power issue. Given the above, is there really any benefit to cloning the 80GB drive and testing? Thanks again everyone for your insight and input.
February 12, 2011 4:57:01 PM

UPDATE: I connected the 80GB hard drive via a USB adapter and started the machine. The drive spins up, the CD drive accesses the recovery CD and a message stating that the recovery did not locate a hard drive (presumably looking for the drive on the IDE) and that recovery cannot continue. Fair enough. But the drive DID spin up at boot when connected via the USB adapter. Just passing this along. Is it possible that the Seagate drive is confusing the BIOS by the way it reports its size? This was the same result before and after the BIOS upgrade (v6.01 to v6.07).
February 13, 2011 1:10:08 PM

Interesing story!
FACTS: Latest BIOS (st up properly)+ New Seagate Drive OK + Checked LapTop Home page about supported/unsupported HDdrives+Check the jumpers on the new drive (usually NOT important Master OR CableSelect - but check anyway) - NO jumpers = Master - horizontal 1 jumper = CableSelect - definetly wrong if jumper as Slave) - see the label HDD, all there.

ACRONIS - As far as I know the best hard disk cloning software last years (before PowerQuest - NOT Norton version)
Acronis - find Bootable CD version (ISO you burn to BootCD)
Acronis ATIH good - but not perfect yet (2009 2010 year version could not work with SCSI drives properly)
Clone complete original 1st HDD (smaller one) to new HDD - partitions same (let's say there are 2). Later partitions can be resized in Win (Norton PartitionMagic 8.05 OR - EASEUS Partition Master OR - Paragon Partition Manager). I use first two- EASEUS newer - both OK Win X86 system (not tried at any 64OS - neither XP X64 /Vista or Win7 64 Os)

VERIFY option - If there is any other drive available USB2 connected (and later on accepted as internal).......Make Acronis image of smaller HDD complete drive - split image to 700MB (External drives are usually FAT32) - Verify image (at the end of prepare before you start to make the image).
Time 20mnts to max 120mnts - we are talking 40GB HDD size, right?

Put HDD with Acronis Image to LapTop - Internal - New SeaGate USB2 (or FireWire - whatever available) - Boot from same Acronis Boot CD - Recover drive from image (not partiton).
If this way (where you can not make any mistakes) does NOT work....then MotherBoard - MainBoard ports or controller something wrong (as told my 1st post).

Good luck - PLS give us RE
February 13, 2011 3:12:17 PM

Hi all, just a note to say I'm still working on this issue and will report back with any solutions. Just want to keep everyone updated. A lot of forum entries seem to just fall off the grid because the original poster never finalizes the result. Thanks for all your input. Stay tuned.
February 13, 2011 7:30:49 PM

I cloned the 30GB hard drive that the recovery disc restored to the new 80GB Seagate. I verified the image after the clone process. Same purple light as before the cloning. I used Apricorn EZ Gig II for the cloning procedure. The cloning was not performed on the laptop machine. The cloning was not performed using the original 40GB hard drive as the drive is unreadable except through the Recuva software. And, as a note, I did run SpinRite 6 on the drive which detected all kinds of 'unrecoverable' sectors.

One interesting note needs to be made here. The Seagate 80GB drive is not being assigned a drive letter in Windows when connected via a USB adapter. The volume name is '*'. Is this a clue? The 30GB hard drive that the restore disc made is assigned a drive letter on the machine that the cloning was performed on (J:\). MariJV => did I accomplish the same thing that your last post asked my to do? This was a full drive copy from the 30GB to the 80GB with manual resizing of the 80GB to a 30GB partition prior to the cloning.
February 14, 2011 11:38:20 AM

Hi all. The saga continues. The machine is running with the old 30GB hard drive that I pulled off the shelf and cloned with Apricorn EZ Gig II. The machine is running flawlessly. Cloning the 80GB Seagate resulted in the 'purple' light and a stalled POST as in the beginning of my journey. No solution has been found yet. Gateway is unwilling to address the issue, and no one is reading the Seagate forum postings. I'll keep you all in the loop. Thanks for your replies.
February 14, 2011 4:40:21 PM

RUOnline said:
I cloned the 30GB hard drive that the recovery disc restored to the new 80GB Seagate.

OK - Clone the drive as it is - Partitions same - drive like the older = smaller one




I verified the image after the clone process. Same purple light as before the cloning. I used Apricorn EZ Gig II -

I do NOT know the software




for the cloning procedure. The cloning was not performed on the laptop machine. The cloning was not performed using the original 40GB hard drive as the drive is unreadable except through the Recuva software.

Of course OK - 40Gb original is useless = dying.



And, as a note, I did run SpinRite 6 on the drive which detected all kinds of 'unrecoverable' sectors.

OK - but better stick to the softW of HardDisk and/or LapTop tradeMark/co.
SeaGate HDD = SeaTools DOS or Win



One interesting note needs to be made here. The Seagate 80GB drive is not being assigned a drive letter in Windows when connected via a USB adapter. The volume name is '*'. Is this a clue?

Not formated/not partitioned = no Label name yet = OK



The 30GB hard drive that the restore disc made is assigned a drive letter on the machine that the cloning was performed on (J:\). MariJV => did I accomplish the same thing that your last post asked my to do? This was a full drive copy from the 30GB to the 80GB with manual resizing of the 80GB to a 30GB partition prior to the cloning.


NO you did NOT - new 80GB after Acronis boot CD - then clone HDD (not partion clone, not resize either Automatic OR manual) = looks like 30GB drive after "mirror" = same partiton sizes as is/are on the 30GB working HDD.
The way should NOT matter (only one more Verify in between) - Does NOT matter - 30GB to HDD image and then to 80GB drive OR direct clone Master 30GB internal LapTop clone directly via USB2 to new 80GB HDD (which would look like 30GB after)


NO answer about checking JUMPERS (4 pins next to 44 pin Data/power = NO jumpers = master OR the 2 by the controler horizontal = CableSelect )
If this does NOT work - we will start from the scratcheliminating possible errors.
So - PLS Detailed data Of new HDD Seagate please - model & serial & FirmWare from HDD label! After, IF, to find out is it SeaGate or OEM Seagate drive.
February 14, 2011 5:02:05 PM

Hi MarinJV - Thanks for getting back to me. First here are the specs from the drive's label:
Momentus 5400.3
80GB
SN: 5LYCTAWC
ST980815A
OBl 9S1038-508
FW: 3.ALE
DATE: 09353
SITE: WU
"This drive is manufactured by Seagate for OEM distribution. For product information or technical support, please contact your system OEM"

Is this last statement in quotes ("" "") an issue?

To execute your steps outlined above I'll have to get /make an Acronis boot CD. But I think the Apricorn EZ Gig II disc copy does the same thing. The 80GB is a mirror image of the 30GB drive. But let me try your way and see if that helps. Thanks again. I'll report back with any results.
a b D Laptop
a c 96 G Storage
February 14, 2011 7:57:34 PM

I prefer Apricorn EZ Gig II - had great luck with it. I also have Apricorn's Drivewire; also used for cloning.
February 14, 2011 8:24:42 PM

Hi Ubrales, thanks for checking out the post. Can you offer any insight to this strange situation? I think everyone is scratching their heads about this. The laptop uses ATA-6 48-bit addressing to the HDD, so it should handle just about any hard drive installed. Ideas?
February 15, 2011 10:03:27 AM

RUOnline said:
Hi MarinJV - Thanks for getting back to me. First here are the specs from the drive's label:
Momentus 5400.3
80GB
SN: 5LYCTAWC
ST980815A
OBl 9S1038-508
FW: 3.ALE
DATE: 09353
SITE: WU
"This drive is manufactured by Seagate for OEM distribution. For product information or technical support, please contact your system OEM"

Is this last statement in quotes ("" "") an issue?

To execute your steps outlined above I'll have to get /make an Acronis boot CD. But I think the Apricorn EZ Gig II disc copy does the same thing. The 80GB is a mirror image of the 30GB drive. But let me try your way and see if that helps. Thanks again. I'll report back with any results.



Thx for RE+HDD data, I've done quick check. NO time for my reply now.....
a b D Laptop
a c 96 G Storage
February 15, 2011 11:07:33 AM

RUOnline said:
Hi Ubrales, thanks for checking out the post. Can you offer any insight to this strange situation? I think everyone is scratching their heads about this. The laptop uses ATA-6 48-bit addressing to the HDD, so it should handle just about any hard drive installed. Ideas?

I looked at Gateway's support for this computer: http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Gateway/M460/QCD10M...
They have one model under Netbook and several models under Notebook. For documentation, determine which is your specific model. This may not affect the HDD, but the model, serial number, product number, etc. is good to document.

Next, I read HDD replacement: http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Gateway/M460/QCD10M...
Go to: http://support.gateway.com/s/Manuals/Mobile/8511371.pdf
There is a note regarding the drivers. You may have to use Gateway's drivers. They list 18 steps for HDD replacement. Pay particular attention to step 1 and step 18.

I saw no mention of jumper settings. Does your existing HDD have a jumper? If so, duplicate it on the replacement HDD.

For information, when my 40 GB HDD started 'clicking' on my antique Dell Inspiron 5150, I used Apricorn EZ Gig II and cloned the 40 GB HDD on to a 250 GB HDD (Seagate IDE) - no problems! I also upgraded the RAM from 512 MB to 2 GB. The laptop works fine now.

After this success, I cloned two other desktops using Apricorn's Drivewire and upgraded the 40 GB HDDs to 250 GB HDDs (Seagate IDE). Per Dell, 250 GB was the maximum HDD that the motherboard supported.

In your case, Gateway may require you to install their drivers per the info on the links above.

After you do all this, if you still have issues, let me know and I will open up my laptop and examine the HDD for jumpers. But again, mine is an old Dell from the days 'when the air was clean and sex was dirty!'. And, Dell has their own crap regarding proprietary stuff.

Good luck!
February 15, 2011 9:05:27 PM

Hi Ubrales. I'll check our your researched links as soon as I can. Thank you. But, remember, if the new 80GB Seagate or new 100GB Seagate drive is connected to the computers IDE connector (jumpers in m/s/cs - does seem to make a difference) the computer will not spin up the drives. The POST process doesn't even start/complete. Nothing on the screen, no spinning drive, so searching for a CD in the tray, nada. Just the feared 'purple light' indicating that the module is ready to be swapped out (?). So, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if the drive isn't spinning up, it cannot be checking to see if the driver(s) are installed on the drive. I'll read your research results though and report back! Thanks again.
a b D Laptop
a c 96 G Storage
February 15, 2011 10:43:37 PM

Do the cloning exactly as specified in Apricorn's EZ Gig II - then install the newly cloned HDD and turn on the computer
February 19, 2011 1:02:45 AM

Hi all:

After following all of your many procedures and ideas, the laptop simply refuses to accept the 80GB hard drive. It is irrelevant as to how the drive is partitioned (if at all) or if the drive has an operating system installed. The BIOS simply halts the machine immediately if it detects this drive (or the 100GB Seagate drive) attached to the IDE header.

There is obviously some undocumented incompatibility between the Gateway M460 laptop and the Seagate Momentus 80Gb and 100GB drives. The laptop was re-imaged with the Gateway M460 restore disc and the 30GB drive and is functioning correctly. The 2 Seagate drives have been listed on Craigslist.com so that I can recover my losses.

Thank you individually and collectively for your efforts in resolving this issue. Sometimes we have to accept there are still unknowns in the universe!
September 1, 2011 6:19:58 PM

I am having the exact same issue with a Gateway M460 and a Seagate Momentus 80GB PATA 2.5" Drive.
September 1, 2011 6:51:05 PM

No solution was ever found or otherwise documented. Installing a non-Seagate drive was my only option/solution.
!