How to Troubleshoot a Gateway Desktop Computer That Won't Start


As much as the world depends on computers for both work and entertainment, they sure do break a lot. If your Gateway desktop computer won't start, you could have a serious problem on your hands. It might be something small like a power issue or a disconnected wire that is easy to troubleshoot. General troubleshooting of a Gateway desktop computer that won't start isn't a surefire fix, but it could save you a call to customer support.

  • Make sure the power cable running from your desktop computer is plugged firmly into the power port on the back of your PC's system unit. Check the other end of the cable and make sure it's connected to a working power outlet or surge protector. Power on the surge protector; if the power switch is off on the surge protector, your PC won't get any power and can't start.

  • Check the power supply's voltage setting. Some Gateways have a switch on the power supply that needs to be set to the proper voltage depending on your country. U.S. computers should be set to "115V." Disconnect the power cord and toggle the switch to the proper setting. This doesn't apply to all Gateway desktops, and yours may lack this switch.

  • Disconnect the power cable from the wall outlet or surge protector. Press and hold the "Power" button on the system unit for roughly 15 seconds. Examine the power cable for damage or fraying. Damaged cables must not be used under any circumstance. Reconnect the power cable and try turning on your computer if the cable is undamaged.

  • Check your computer's monitor connection to the computer's system unit. Make sure all cables are firmly connected. Make sure the monitor is plugged into a working wall outlet or surge protector and turn it on. If the monitor isn't on or connected properly, it may appear that your computer isn't starting.

  • Disconnect any peripherals and external devices from your computer. Don't disconnect the monitor, keyboard or mouse. Instead, disconnect devices like SD cards, external hard drives, USB devices, printers/scanners, webcams and microphones.

  • Press the "Power" button on your desktop computer and see if there's a response. If it boots up but won't start Windows, write down the message that appears on the screen and everything that happens up to the point where it stops working. Look for any differences from the normal startup.

  • Contact Gateway customer support or Microsoft for information specific to your issue (see Resources section).

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not attempt to open your computer for repair yourself unless you're sure of what you're doing. You could get shocked or may damage internal components.
  • Depending on the message that appears when a computer starts but won't boot, you may need to send your computer in for replacement or repair. The severity of this issue varies from case to case.

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  • Photo Credit computer image by michele goglio from
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