Well my cheap-o ($50) 500 GB hard drive went belly up with a “S.M.A.R.T status bad” error after just two days – RMA time. So it was off to Best Buy for a replacement drive. I completely reinstalled Windows 7 and amazingly this time it recognized my Audigy2 sound card and my modem. And without me installing any of the original Gateway drivers the front panel HID buttons work including the Home button *and* the IR receiver works! Excellent. The only thing I didn’t get back was the front panel display that mostly shows the current time. Definitely can live without that.
Now we are still running into the “Copying Prohibited” errors watching live TV and this is starting to annoy the family. Fortunately you can switch channels, wait for a bit and then switch back to get around this blockage. These seem to be popping up a lot during commercials. One other issue is that I haven’t had any luck getting a DVD movie to play. That kind of sucks except that the kids mostly watch movies off the DVD library. And I can watch DVDs via our XBOX 360 – as long as I crank the volume so I can hear the movie above the sound of the XBOX fan noise.