I just got a new Gateway FX p7809u laptop, it came with Windows Vista 64-bit installed and came with no boot disks. After I booted Vista once, I wiped the hdd and installed Ubuntu 9.04 on 50gbs of the 500gbs of hdd space.
After installing Linux, I decided to install Windows XP 32-bit on another 50gbs of the hdd. But when I went to install Windows XP it would keep blue screening, I found out that it was because of SATA drivers missing.
I went to the Gateway website, punched in my serial number, and was brought to the driver page. I think I have found the right driver i need: P-7800_MATRIX_INTEL_126.96.36.1999.zip - Intel Matrix Storage Driver Version: 188.8.131.529.
It says that I can use it with the F6 method when you installed Windows, but my problem is my laptop doesn't have a floppy drive, I do not have an external enclosure to use an external floppy drive, and when I tried to use a 256mb flash drive it did not recognize it.
I was wondering if it was possible to set up an install from Linux, like set up the install and have it boot that partition?
Also, it says the drivers support Windows Vista 32 + 64 bit, does that mean I cannot install Windows XP?
Foxy -- I am considering getting the 7809. I only see it available at frys and jr still says that it is unavailable. where did you purchase it and how do you like it? i am not a gamer but i like good graphics and speed and sound. What is your experience so far>
That's what it means. People these days think it's just that easy to slap XP on anything they feel like. There's someone at Gateway laughing at you. Most Laptops have only Vista drivers developed for them.
I've been thinking about buying a laptop for a few weeks. The following is my opinion/bias:
HP laptops give you the the largest HW capacity per dollar, but there has been so many complaints about their quality/reliability that I decided to drop them.
Dell's alienware is expensive, though the Studio XPS is about the same price as the gateway, but it's screen is only 15.6in. My XPS notebook has been very reliable. Folks have listed complaints about Dell, but when I read a bunch of them, they were from folks who were blaming Dell for Microsoft Vista problems.
Thinkpad W series has excellent quality and reliability, but is priced high for its HW capacity. The screen size for the other Lenovo lines were smaller than I wanted. If you are ultra-conservative and have the money, you cannot go wrong with Thinkpad. My 11 year old 600E is still running great--but that was when IBM was building them. To me Lenovo looks like it is trying to keep that reputation up.
Asus also offers nice laptops, but i heard they had some motherboard problems so i steered clear from them for now. Any problem they have, undoubtedly will get resolved quickly. Some folks I know, love them.
Sony Vaio's probably offer the best power per weight features, but I have had so many reliability problems with other sony products, that they were off my list from the get-go.
My younger co-workers disagree with me and absolutely love them. I'm glad they are happy, but to me, Sony has a lot more reputation building to do before i bet my computing life on their product.
I bought a Gateway 7809u from Fry's yesterday for $1249. You can get it cheaper if you mail order, but for $50 more it was worth it to me to see the box beforehand and have a local store to return it to if there were problems. Fry's has a 15 day return policy. You can buy extended warranty but it's pricey ~$160.
I also bought a SATA 500GB, 7200 seagate 2.5 notebook drive for $110. Recommend doing this to clone your hard drive. The provided gateway recovery disk software (to make a recovery dvd) was so slow, i aborted it and downloaded Acronis software. I have Acronis for my Win xp machine and it works really well, however the Aconis True Image 11 Home SW I own does not work in vista 64. The new Acronis version does. I used their 30 day free download and it works great. Note vista might complain after Acronis asks to reboot, but just select the boot normally option and you'll be ok. You can check your clone by swapping out the hard drive in the gateway.
My 7809u came with a Western Digital 500GB 5400 harddrive. There is an empty bay for a second 2.5 hard drive.
The only glitch I have is the external sata port does not work. To make my clone, i had to use the USB port. I'm still working this. Windows thinks the driver I have is the latest, but Driver Robot thinks there is a newer driver. Obviously the driver should not be the issue because the FX7809u boots using SATA disks. This experience does suggest that you might want to try checking these laptop ports before you buy. I have not checked the express card port yet.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the quality of the machine. Mine does not get hot like others have reported, but the fan does not blow steady. It sounds like it's breathing. It is much quieter than my Dell XPS, which does get hot. Wireless supports both the 2.5GHz and 5.0GHz radio frequencies. I'm not a gamer, but I have no doubt it will perform.
My main disappointment is not with Gateway, but Windows Vista 64. FOr a dual-core, 4GB ram, the machine is sluggish. At work I have Umbutu 64 loaded on a Dell workstation and it screams. I have serious doubts that Win 7 will be better. I think now is the time that hardware vendors seriously think about stronger Linux support.
If you like you could be running Ubuntu but have a Win XP virtual machine. That way you wouldn't have any trouble with drivers. VMWare Player versions 2 and 3 let you create virtual machines, and works very well.
If you go to the Gateway support area and enter your laptop's serial number, you can download a BIOS update. Gateway has posted several new ones. Notably, the BIOS update causes the fan to run more often (which means you get a more constant sound instead of the "breathing", and your GPU temperatures stay lower).
My GPU temperature regularly gets up to 110C though (after running games for hours, and the fan ports are not blocked)... I think I better have that looked at!
I finally reinstalled vista because my monitor is at samsung being fixed and I wanted to play games that I can't play on linux for performance reasons. Anyways, I tried to update the bios but was unsuccessful and couldn't find a guide for it (if you could help me that would be great). Also, my fan that makes the breathing sound now makes a roaring sound, like the fan is going bad (it has been like 11 months if I remember correctly).
Also, this laptop plays TF2 great at almost all max settings (recommended settings, 1440x900). It did overheat last night, I think that was at like 2 hours straight of TF2 and after playing like all day.