Solved Vintage Gateway 2000

Iec / Pinetrail
October 13, 2011 at 18:35:45
Specs: Windows 7 HP, 1.666 GHz / 2035 MB
So I was looking through my shed the other day and I found what I believe to be a Gateway 2000. I want to learn more about it but I cant find any info on it. Could someone point me in the right direction?

Here's a link to an ebay auction with pictures of one.

See More: Vintage Gateway 2000

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October 13, 2011 at 19:09:06
It looks like the ebay lot? It's not one of those with the white case and gold lettering? A lot of cases back then had that same look so unless it says 'gateway 2000' on it, it may not be one.

If it is a gateway you can try using the serial number (probably on a sticker on the back) and see if you can get any info from gateway's site. But they made support for those older models harder to find when gateway merged with emachine or acer or whatever it was.

It's going to be an Intel motherboard. Assuming the gateway site won't be of any help you can just open it up and see what's inside. Or the posting screen (if it works) should show you what cpu it has and how much ram.

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October 13, 2011 at 19:44:24
✔ Best Answer
When it's that old, Gateway 2000 is not a specific model.

The Gateway brand was originally called Gateway 2000 - all of their models were Gateway 2000 something, until they changed the name to just Gateway.


"Gateway was founded on September 5, 1985, on a farm outside Sioux City, Iowa, by Ted Waitt and Mike Hammond. Originally called Gateway 2000, it was one of the first widely successful direct sales PC companies......"

"It dropped the "2000" from its name on October 31, 1998."

Since it was started up in 1985 and the name was used until 1998, it could be anything from a XT clone or 286 to a Pentium or PII or PIII model.

If you look at the zoom in of the back of the case you provided a link to, the FCC ID number is a good clue regarding which cpu the mboard has and what it's speed is. That particular one has
It has a 386 cpu, 25mhz.
Useless for modern operating systems.

According to a search here,
FCC ID Search Form:

The times Gateway registered that FCC ID was
07/18/1990, and 01/03/1991

The FCC ID number on your case may be completely different.

If you search on the above site, the date the FCC ID was registered is a good clue - the earliest date is close to the date when the model was first released.

(If you get no "hits" when you use the entire FCC ID, use the first three letters, and part of the last characters, or just the first 3 letters for many models, and find one in the list close to yours.)

The Gateway web site
doesn't seem to have any info about their Gateway 2000 computers, unless, possibly, you happen to have a model that has the same first two letters in your FCC ID number as models listed when you search for support.

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October 13, 2011 at 20:04:02
My first computer was a Gateway 2000 with Windows 95 and a Pentium 166 with a 3.2GB hard drive if I remember correctly.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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Related Solutions

October 13, 2011 at 20:06:12
wow thanks! Wasn't expecting such a thorough answer :) I especially liked the slight bit of history on Gateway :)

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October 13, 2011 at 20:17:08
If you are able to determine which cpu the computer has, try searching the web with that - but you may find only vague info. .

E.g. Search with: Gateway 2000 DX2/66 or Gateway 2000 Pentium 166

The first computer I used was my Dad's, in 1988 - a Sanyo 286, 12mhz, 3x mb (not gb) RLL hard drive, 1mb ram, 5 1/4" floppy drive, Dos 3.2. 1.44mb floppy drives were a recent thing - we paid over $100 to have one installed Dad paid over $1200 for the computer, and an EGA monitor (16 colors). VGA video cards and monitors were available but very expensive, The Sanyo had a propreitary mboard but used standard ISA cards and Simm ram modules, had a built in two header (or was it one ? ) IDE controller. You used a supplied 5 1/4" floppy disk to access the bios Setup. There were no Auto or User hard drive settings - you chose an IDE drive from a rather short list of sizes / parameters. (The RLL hard drive did not require the drive to be selected in the bios. We did get several different IDE hard drives later.)
Had no sound card - they weren't available - no such thing as onboard sound - several years later, we got a first generation SB card.

For computers after that...
Didn't have Windows 3.1 until about 1994.
Didn't have a dial-up modem or internet until about 1996.

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October 13, 2011 at 21:13:53
wow cool! I'm only 18, and I've taken a real interest in this kind of stuff. When I saw this computer I vaguely remembered a time when we used it. It was the first computer I ever used. Just a few weeks ago I got a book to learn how to use DOS, I wanted to know how to use this thing. You seem to know a lot about this stuff, do you mind if in the future I ask you further questions about using computers like these?

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October 13, 2011 at 23:01:55
See if you can determine by the FCC ID number, if it has one, what CPU it has.
"...I vaguely remembered a time when we used it...." Your parent(s) may know what it has. Maybe they still have the manual for it ?

If it has something older than a Pentium, you could use it for Dos but it would be extremely difficult or impossible to use the internet with it.
Personally I wouldn't use a computer anymore if I couldn't use the internet.

Learning the older Dos (6.2 and below) is a steep learning curve. Most of the stuff you had to learn about it you don't need to know these days. Most of the books about the older Dos have been discarded years ago. 6.2 is the best one of those as far as I know, although there may be slightly newer versions that had limited use. There is a free Dos 7.x avaialble on the web based on the Dos in the background of Win 95 - 98SE, but it requires a lot more ram than 6.2 and below do. .

I was using a 486 DX/2 66 in late 1999 when I gave up on using the Internet and Win 3.1 and Dos 6.2 and 4mb of ram because using the internet had become too much of a load on it, and I built a new system - K6-III 450mhz, AGP 2X ATI Rage Fury video card, Win 98SE, I started out with 64mb of ram.
I tried 128mb and 192mb and 256mb with it and found it doesn't need more than 128mb. I was still using it, though I have faster computers now, with 98SE until capacitors on the mboard failed a few months ago.
It was zippy on the internet at first, but by the time it stopped working early this year most things on the internet loaded relatively slowly, and IE 6 , the max you can install in 98SE, is inadequate - I was using a recent version of the Opera browser instead or the last version of Netscpace Navigator. the last year or so I used it.

I just turned 60, born in 1951.
There was no TV in my city in Canada until 1954 - there were only black and white TV broadcasts here until 1960.

I graduated from high school in 1970
Integrated circuits were a recent new thing then,
Most people had TVs that used vacuum tubes rather than transistors etc.
There were only huge main frame computers by then - only governments and institutions and banks and large businesses could afford them,
If you wanted to work with computers, you had to learn how to use programming languagres and cope with having very limited amounts of time with main frame computers at institutions. I wasn't interested in that at the time. A friend of mine who had high marks in high school tried to learn about computers in university but did poorly for the first time in his life and was so ashamed of that he moved to the next province (I'm in Canada) - it was tough going to be good with computers then.

There were no personal computers in any significant amount until about 1983 here, and the better ones (IBM models mostly) were so expensive at first, mostly only businesses could afford them,
There were no personal computers in schools until about then - lesser computers than the businesses used - e.g. Commodore, Tandy.(made by Radio Shack) .

As I said above, my Dad didn't buy a computer until 1988, when the prices of them had dropped enough for him. I was about 27 - oops - 37. IDE hard drives were relatively recent. Most computers had MFM or RLL hard drives that required a hard drive controller card you installed in a slot. Most of them did not have automatic bad sector detection. Formatting them required reading the manual for the card.and Dos to run rom routines built into a chip on the card, and entering the locations of bad sectors on the drive from a list that came with the drive. There were programs that were used to detect new bad sectors when you were having problems so you could enter their locations or avoid using their locations via sioftware in which case the info was lost when you formatted the hard drive and the program had to be run again.
The earliest IDE drives had no automatic bad sector detectionn but it wasn't long before all of them did and they still do, and SCSI and SATA drives do - the locations of bad sectors are automatically swapped with the locations of spare good sectors.

Now, kids may be using computers before they can properly talk and read

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November 10, 2011 at 12:36:38
The answer is right on the FCC sticker. It's a 25 MHz 80386, simply known as a 386-25. I don't know if it was the DX or the SX model. I owned a Gateway 2000 in the same case, but it was a 386SX-16. The DX was 32-bit, and the SX was 32-bit internally but had a 16-bit data bus.

ASUS P6T-Deluxe, Intel i7 920
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
12GB RAM, GeForce GTX 275
64GB Patriot SSD, 640GB WD Black Edition

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November 10, 2011 at 13:27:32
Usually when DX is not there it's SX, but that may not apply in the FCC ID number.

I still have a couple of 386 desktops. One is 386DX 25 mhz that I used in the 90's, oddball Chips and Technology main chipset, bought the mboard at a garage sale, never did find a mboard manual for it; the other was given to me later, it's probably SX, I have the manuals for it. That 386DX 25 was a big step up from our Sanyo 286 12mhz. Neither have the math co-processor, I haven't used either since the late 90's.
I still have the same 486 DX2-66 computer - I haven't used it since 2000.
I also have a 486 VLB (Vesa Local Bus) my neighbor gave me buit haven't used it.

If you use the FCC ID Search Form at the link in response 2 with the FCC ID number, there may be more info there, but I doubt it. You'll at least have a date if you find an exact match .

See the info in the response 2 after that too.

There are sometimes attached documents available when you click on the icon in the column for them. Rarely, there's a manual, but I've only found that for sound ? cards.

You could also try searching the web with the FCC ID number , or something such as "Gateway 2000" 386 25mhz or 25 mhz

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