yep F6 was the key.
Gateway Frequently Asked Questions shows
Q: How do I turn the touchpad or pointing device on or off?
A: Follow these steps to turn on or turn off the touchpad and optional pointing device.
From the Start menu, click Control Panel.
Note: If your Control Panel is in Category View, click Printers and Other Hardware.
In Control Panel, click or double-click the Mouse icon.
In the Mouse Properties dialog box, click the Device Settings tab.
Click to select the device you want to turn on or turn off, and then click Enable or Disable.
Search touchpad only gets
Document ID: 5700
How do I enable or disable the touchpad on my computer?
The touchpad on your Gateway computer may be disabled by pressing a certain key combination. This same key combination also enables the touchpad.
On most Gateway notebooks, to disable or enable the touchpad press and hold the Fn key down and press the F6 or F7 key.
If you are still experiencing a problem, please contact Gateway support for further assistance.
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