First, do you only have the one hard drive?

Second, are you able to access Windows at startup?

If so, then you may need to find and install the newest SATA drivers for your computer.. Instructions for doing that will be found at the Gateway website.

If there are none, you might consider using your warranty and returning it to get one that starts correctly.

As to creating the Recovery Discs, I'm not current on the newest Gateways, but the older ones gave you the option to create such discs immediately upon the first startup.. If not there, then check the Start-Help and Support menu.. Such tasks are frequently itemized in the Start Menu.. If not there, then try checking the Gateway website. Maybe this link will help:

http://support.gateway.com/s/software/microsof/Vista/7515910/7515910su14.shtml

Hope this helps.

Grif