I've come across a few laptops that will not boot without a battery installed (the battery doesn't need to be good in those cases, just installed). Page 29 of the Gateway Notebook Hardware Reference (here http/panam.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Q106/Blade/8511369.pdf ) mentions "Battery Conditioning" which is a few hour long process, it might be something to work from. One other thing I've found is that a bad CMOS battery can cause all kinds of strange behaviors including not starting, check to see that it is at 3v
Thanks. I found a couple of problems when I dug in deep enough.
As you mentioned, the CMOS battery was low so I replaced it.
The computer still wouldn't work, so I replaced the power supply jack and it works fine now. He probably yanked on the cord or the laptop fell and the strain broke one or more of the solder joints on the MB. I could probably have gotten the same result by re-soldering the old jack but who knows?
I found a link that said that sometimes the strain would break a lead in the PC board its self and that was pretty much unrepairable.
Thanks for responding.