Well, I don't have a Gateway, so I can't answer your question. But it might help if - from all the research you did - you could tell what you learned about the meaning and possible causes of error 203.
Moreover, this is nice opportunity to make a two more general remarks.
1. Making a recovery disk is NOT a feature of the OS (Windows Vista). It's done by a program written by the manufacturer (Gateway in your case). So only Gateway knows the cause and the possible remedies. If they didn't publish that comprehensively, you're dependent on what other victims tried and did and put on the Internet.
2. Making recovery disks when you need them is too late. If the hard disk fails, you can't do it any more, so you're lucky you succeeded in making disk one. If, on the contrary, you had done it the first time you had used your new machine either it would have been a success or you could have returned the machine under warranty if the shop can't fix or provide you with the Gateway made recovery disks for free. It's an essential thing: making recovery disks and if it doesn't work it surely is a valid reason to return it as DOA.
I hope other members have more specific help for you.
I'm pretty sure my laptop is infected by some virus or trojan to the extent I'm ready to reformat the machine back to new. I am trying to create recovery disks for a Gateway M-7315U laptop running windows vista with SP2. Disk 1 creates fine, but error code 203 pops up when trying to create disk 2. I've tred restarting the program severa time and now have numerous copies of disk 1, but still can't complete the process of creating disk 2. I have searched high and low on the internet for fixes and solutions. Apparently millions of others are suffering this issue as well. Gateway does have a "patch" that is supposed to fix the problem and get rid of the error, but it does not work. Surely, someone out there know how to get the recovery system to create the disk 2. I can't seem to get any help from Gateway support.