Dell Latitude D600 Intermittent IRQ errors and BSODs

By ManSmurf
Sep 4, 2009
  1. Hi all! :wave: this is the first time that I've posted on this website, but not the first time that I've used it as a resource. So, I'll get right to it. . .

    I've got this Dell Latitude D600. The current system specs are as follows 1.6/512mg DDR/40 GB HDD, it's running on Windows XP Pro.

    I've got a client who brings me this laptop and every time he brings it in it has an IRQ error riding the blue horse of destruction we call a BSOD. Every time I take this thing in I can never get the darn thing to replicate this error. Its been in and out of the shop 4 times now and every time the client takes it home it crashes again.

    Some history:

    The initial 40GB HDD that the unit came with died from hardware failure. I replaced it with a 160GB PATA Seagate Momentus. The unit ran flawlessly at the shop. Installed all drivers, updates, I ran DVD's on it used the onboard diagnostics to test the system, everything ran without a hitch. So, the client comes and picks the laptop up and, of course, I demonstrate it to him so that we both know it's leaving the shop in operational condition. 20 minutes later I get a call that the system crashed and he shortly thereafter brings it back in where I reboot the system 4 times and test programs, the internet and a DVD without any issue. He takes it back home and the same issue occurs once again. He brings it back in, this time with the BSOD on screen to prove to me that it's actually happening. I reinstall the OS and the driver/updates and bla bla bla, once again thinking that It may just be a corrupt OS load. I even opened up a new disk to make sure that there wasn't going to be any issue on that front from scratches or dirt and whatnot. No issues on my front, I tested it again and again without any problems. I ran SeaTools HDD diagnostics, Memtest86+, and ran video stress tests on it for close to a day (18 hours) straight, it ran cool, and pretty, no errors detected whatsoever. The client takes it back home and, once again, it crashes. At that point I was very confused because the client claims that he hadn't even plugged anything into it, he just turned it on to find an error BSOD and it won't boot at all. I go on site with a separate laptop of same make and model, known good memory sticks to do a little swap-a-roo. I tested my HDD in his laptop and his laptop booted fine, his HDD in my laptop crashed. I then swapped the memory out and it made on difference, the memory tested and booted fine on each system while the know good HDD was installed. I'm totally boggled at this point. So, I do what anyone does when they're confused, I called in backup. I spent 5 hours on the phone with a Seagate engineer who, also baffled, broke down and said "I have no idea. . .I'll give you an RMA for the drive." "Okay," I thought, "it's a bad drive. . ." I then installed a out of the package, brand-spanking-new, 160 Seagate Momentus PATA mobile HDD. Long story short, the same issues occur again. I go back over to the clients house and make them show me what they do when they turn on the laptop. Everything they do is fine. I do notice something though, they have it sitting, but not plugged into, a CoolMax laptop cooling pad. I pick the laptop up into my hand and turn it on, it boots just fine. Put it back on the pad and it dies. On my lap this time it boots just fine. Back on the pad and it dies. I pull the drive out and look at the HDD and examine the pin. While gently touching the pins I hear a faint snapping sound, like the pins are just barely attached to the PCB. I also notice that the drive itself is about 2 milimeters taller than the usual drives that I install. I test the drive at work, with a different laptop, and it tests fine, for hours I ran it, tested it, and rebooted it. No issue. At that point I figured that I had a bad run of HDD and asked for an RMA. I let the client borrow a 40GB Toshiba drive for that time being, which oddly worked just fine. I had a known good Western Digital Scorpion Blue 320GB PATA mobile HDD. I installed the drive after updating and bla bla bla, and once again it worked 100% perfect here but when the client took it home it died within seconds. I put that 40GB back in for the time being. Can anyone please help me?

    Other things that I've done:

    I updated the Bios and the chipset.
    I've installed 160GB and 320GB HDDs into other Latitude D600 with out any issue, so I don't believe that's any issue.
    I ran diagnostics on all three drives, each came up error free
    Memtest86+ came up clean.
    Reinstalled OS 3 times. . .:haha:
    I followed the issue to a known good laptop when I was swapping drives around

    Thoughts and Considerations:

    The last thing that I thought of was the HDD controller itself. Perhaps it's loose and when the drive wiggles even a little bit the system begins to crash. . .But then why would the issue follow the HDD around with it and why would that 40GB suffer no issues whatsoever while the others failed as soon as the client brought it home?

    I'm lost, please help.


  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Two mm is a lot.
    We are seing lots of problems with the WD drives from above 160GB to 500GB... but no size differences... just early failures, and unreliable operation..
  3. ManSmurf

    ManSmurf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, raybay. On the note of WD hdd failing soon, I just had to swap one out of a RAID array after only one month of use. It was brand new. . .how sad. Any how, does any one have an idea about what's happening to this poor clients laptop?
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