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Over-heated Gateway M275 notebook?

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My gf uses her Gateway M275 notebook on the couch; yesterday I came home to find it perched on the arm of the couch, the fabric totally blocking the bottom vents. Last night she tried to turn it on and it just stopped at the Gateway BIOS screen, no HD action at all. It will not accept f2 or f12 inputs for boot options or settings, nothing past that screen.
I'd guess she cooked the HD, but am not sure enough to just go and buy a new HD, and possibly a new copy of XP, since I'm not sure if her disc set includes a full copy or just a recovery disc. Replacing the drive plus XP looks like $150 or more. It is not a young computer.... but is is a tablet with a stylus touchscreen and she likes it.
Is there a physical thermal safety that would have shut it down? Or other form of protection that I can replace? Or is there a more likely failure like the CPU or something? :)
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