According to the user guide, you got some backup/restore disks when
you purchased the computer. If you cannot find these, there might be a hidden
partition with backup files on it (like I mentioned was the case with another computer
I have worked on). This is an excerpt from your user
guide (emphasis is mine):
So you really want that instruction booklet. But I found this
guide online which I will summarize below.
Restoring your system
All programs that were preinstalled on your computer are available on
the backup restore discs that you created with the recovery media
program, on the hard drive, or on restore discs that were included with
your computer. If you need to restore your computer to the original
configuration, you can use the backup restore discs or you can use the
backup files located on the hard drive.
The instructions for using the restore discs or hard drive backup files are
included in the instruction booklet that came with your restore discs.
Using Gateway System Recovery
Most computer problems can be solved by following the troubleshooting information in
your User Guide or at support.gateway.com. Problem-solving may also involve re-installing
some or all of the computerís software (also called recovering or restoring your system).
Gateway provides everything you need to recover your system under most conditions.
A backup copy of your operating system is provided on a CD or DVD, and a backup copy
of your factory-installed drivers and applications is saved on a hidden area of your hard
To recover from the hard drive:
1 Remove all CDs and DVDs from the disc drives, disconnect all USB devices except
the keyboard and mouse, then disconnect your Internet cable.
2 If you can still run Windows, click Start, All Programs, System Recovery, then click
System Recovery.(DO THE NEXT OPTION INSTEAD)
3 - OR -
Turn on or restart your computer, then press R when prompted to start the recovery
4 Click a system recovery option:
- Full System Restore (Destructive) reformats the hard drive and restores the system
software as it was when you purchased your computer. This process deletes your
data files. The Full System Restore option deletes all files on your hard drive
*Caution* except the restore files. Make sure that you back up all personal data
files before continuing this process.
- Full System Restore (with Backup) moves the contents of the hard drive to the
C:\My Backup folder and installs a new copy of Windows XP. This option saves your
existing data files, but all programs must be reinstalled and the program settings
reconfigured. You need at least 4 GB of hard drive space to use this restore option.
5 Click Next. The System Restore - Format and Recover dialog box opens.
6 Click Yes. Files are restored to your hard drive. When file recovery has finished, the System Restore dialog box opens.
7 Click Restart. Your computer restarts, and Windows finishes its setup and installation.
8 Reconnect your Internet cable and all USB peripheral devices. You are done.
After you restore your system, it will appear with the same files and
programs it had when it shipped from the factory. You still need to
download Windows updates and antivirus updates to bring your
computerís software up to date.
By the way, congratulations on finding this site--I gave you the wrong url(doh).
So you saw that you can do a safe recover that stores all your data files (like music
and the backup from that money management program you have). But if you have a flash
drive you should still put your money backup file on that to be safe.
Let me know how things firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!