I have an old..really old...gateway that I just wanted to backup the data from. I tried turning it on, but the power button still glows orange no matter how long I hold it. I havn't really turned the computer on for at least a year, so I'm wondering if its beyond all help? From the last time I turned it on it was working fine, no wierd noises just unbearably slow (and last time was a while ago). Any help would be appreciated.
If contacts (as in switches, relays, etc) in cheap devices are unused over a long time, an oxide layer builds up on the surfaces and the switch will not work as intended. When switches are used regularly, the wiping action between the contact surfaces helps to 'clean' the surfaces, thus proving good electrical contact.
If you can clean the contact surfaces (if possible) or if you can replace the switch, it might work. In order to verify whether this is indeed the problem short out the contact as in a closed position and see whether the computer will start.
Another way is to short out the switch header pins on the motherboard. If the computer starts, the power switch is the problem.