For some stupid reason (shame on me, really), I decided to Flash the BIOS of my wife's Gateway id49c07u using Gateway's Windows-based utility. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the tool crapped out about halfway through the update, and to my horror, the laptop wouldn't POST after a reboot. I just sat there, with the power button glowing, hard drive button blinking randomly ... but doing absolutely nothing.
I thought I was screwed. A useless chat session with Gateway's support didn't change that feeling. There isn't any documentation from Gateway (that I could find) about this process, and their "support" claims there is no way to recover the BIOS. Heck, maybe they don't even know about it. Or care about it. One of the two.
After a while, I calmed down and did what all geeks do - Googled it. After seeing what other people were trying, I attempted a few things. It took me a couple hours to figure out a solution that worked for this particular laptop. Here's what did the trick for me...obviously this varies from computer to computer (for the curious, it turns out this Gateway has an InsydeH2O UEFI BIOS)
Anyway, the steps to take to fix the Gateway:
Grab a USB flash drive and make sure it's formatted with FAT32 (I think FAT16 works too).
Download the latest BIOS from the manufacturer's website. Typical BIOS files have a .ROM, .FD, or .BIN extension. In my case the key files were "kE3a104a.ROM" and "NELA0x64.FD."
Copy all needed files to the USB flash drive.