Gateway MA3 MX6425 How to know if motherboard or hard drive is bad?

I was using my laptop while on the internet and it suddenly cut off. I have had it cut off before but when it did I would take the battery out, put it back in and it would begin working again.

I got the blue screen for about half a second and the computer tries to come back on, it shows the Windows XP logo but won't bring up the programs. It continues to bring up the screen about start normally or go to safe mode, etc.

I was told the hard drive was bad. Someone tried to install it but then said the motherboard was bad because it would not take the install of the new hard drive with USB.

Can't I replace the motherboard? How do I tell if it is the motherboard or the hard drive?

My dvd won't open but this is nothing new. I wanted to try the restore disk. I do have an external dvd/cd drive. Just by chance I put the disk in and since I could not find how to repair, I took a chance to see what would happen if I hit the F11. It took me to a screen with the option of only doing a full factory restore but not a repair with backup utility.

If the motherboard is no good, then how am I able to get the screen from F11 to do a factory restore? I don't know about the inside of computers but if the motherboard is not working then how is the computer able to respond at all?

Could it be something else that is causing the problem?

Thanks for the help or input.
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  1. Hello studiocomputer;

    You can try running from a bootable USB thumb drive and see if you can get an alternate operating system to load.

    Ubuntu Desktop
    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download
    The download guide also has the instructions to make a bootable USB drive that can run the OS without needing the hard drive.
    When you power on use the F12 to be able to tell the laptop where to boot from.
    You can run Ubuntu in Trial mode without having to install. It's not Windows, but it's enough like windows you should be able to move around and use it to 'rescue' any important files and personal data on your notebook - as long as the HDD is reachable and the file system is intact.
  2. Hi,

    Thank you for the information.

    I appreciate it!
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