So for starters the battery on my Gateway laptop is bunk!!! I can't really use it without the AC adapter dies very fast and also even with the AC it restarts periodicaly. Completely random i could be doing nothing on it or i could be doing everything on it doesnt matter still just randomly shuts down/restarts and then when the boot screen comes up my keyboard is locked so i am unable to select "start windows normally" or any of the other choices even to veiw different boot functions! It could be an overheating issue but some times it's only running for a matter of minutes before it restarts and no heat what so ever coming from the laptop?!!! if anyone could help that would be much appreciated!!!
Your shut down issues could be due to a few different things, heat is possible but will usually be followed by a warning on restart that the shut down was performed to protect the computer or a similar statement. Note that a CPU heats up very quickly - you can get a thermal shutdown within one minute if vents are blocked or restricted. You can check the temps on most newer processors using a tool called CoreTemp available free. You can also check to ensure you feel warm air coming out of the vents when the computer is running - if the vents are blocked by dust bunnies (ie. you feel no warm air from 2" - 3" away), disassembly and cleaning is needed (see video below).
IMO Power issues are a more likely culprit here. The appearent lack of a restart message or reason for restart makes me consider power as the problem since it seems it happens fast enough that a dump file is not created. Replacing the battery (or at least checking to ensure it is good) would probably be a good start and possibly replacing the AC power pack also. Those are not the only possible problem areas for power though, there are two other possible power issue places, both require disassembly to reach. One of those, the power jack is possible to repair if you are adept at the use of a soldering iron, you can check that by attempting to wiggle the power cord at the jack. If the plug moves at all or feels like it isn't inserting properly, it's very likely the jack. The other, your power distribution is not a DIY thing. This video gives you an idea of what is involved in tearing down your laptop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8BnFS9rSVc to repair a power jack (your's isn't the easiest)
The last two possible issues are ram and hard drive failures which, like heat issues, are usually followed by an alert as to why the restart occurred.
If there is a message explaining the restart, that will be helpful - the message may appear to be jibberish like "Fault exception at 00F00020" or something like that
I realize it's a lot but hopefully it helps
Thanks, no shut down messages occur at all. And the power jack seems fine. I disabled the automatic restart on system failure and problem still persists. I disassembled and dusted all cooling components (wasn't as dirty as I though) and problem still persists. Getting a replacement battery is on top of the list for me, but even with the battery out and just running ac it happens(less frequently but still random)
blue also a sign that the ac brick or the laptop power section on the mb could be going bad. most times it the ac brick is going bad as there a broken or twisted wires going from the wall to the laptop.
Following up on Smorizio's post, that can be checked for by moving your power brick around while the unit is running and watching the light on the power pack which should stay green throughout the movements. It isn't a fool-proof test but if it fails that, you've pretty much isolated the problem.
His post also reminded me there is one other possibility that isn't impossible to fix and that would be faulty capacitor(s) on the mobo. I don't know that I would disassemble it strictly to check for that but it is something that seems to fit the pattern and is not an impossible fix. Beware - capacitors are dangerous and some advanced electrical knowledge is required before attempting replacement of those - best to have a shop fix those