I did a clean install of Windows XP Pro on a separate hard drive I bought and here's the experiences.
The OS installation went smoothly and when it finished, it found about 4 unknown devices listed in the question mark section in Device Manager. I then installed the following drivers downloaded from Gateway's Driver Downloads
. Agere Systems AC’97 Modem driver
. Realtek Network driver
. M1300 Wireless Network driver
. Launch Manager Software driver
. Chipset driver
Most of them extract to a folder in C:\cabs and they either supply a Setup.exe which you can run, or you can do Update Driver from Device Manager.
These got rid of 2 of the unknowns, left the USB and the sound card. Then I found that the sound card driver I got from the website could not extract, and the driver for AV Manager is actually the sound card driver! Anybody else could try it. So I got back to the CD that came with the machine and installed AV Manager driver and the sound card driver. The AV Manager driver installed silently, but it did make the - and + buttons on the left panel work.
The same processor driver can be updated by doing a Windows Update and install the one from Microsoft.
For the video card driver, I downloaded the latest official Catalyst 4.1 from ATI and used MobileMod 4.0
to modify the driver so it supports Mobility 9600. This worked great.
I didn't install the Touchpad driver because I usually use the external mouse for scrolling.
I'm still having a problem with my USB though. I figured that in order to install driver for that unknown USB device I had to install Windows XP SP1a. After that do an Update Driver on that unknown device and it will find its driver automatically. But the problem is, my USB mouse can only be detected when I shut down the machine and turn it on. It doesn't work if I just plug it in when the machine is on
All other devices, the external DVD-RW, external hard driver work perfectly, just the mouse...
So far the machine works great with this setup...
BTW I think in order for that left control panel to work, dirve D: has to be formatted FAT32 not NTFS. I use drive D: for development so I had to sacrifice this functionality for now.