This is an update to a previous rant about the mysterious Windows XP “Dee-Dunk” error (and the novel concept of presenting an “error message” when an error condition exists), possibly in conjunction with broken or intermittent USB functionality. This post is mainly for Googlers – my friends are more than welcome to skip it.
I haz solved the mystery! It turns out that some Dell Precision T3400 machines (my work machine was one of them) ship with buggy/broken BIOSes and/or chipset support. Anyway, to fix:
Worm your way onto Dell’s support site for updates, enter your model number; download and run the following three patches:
- BIOS Update (T3400A08.EXE, or whatever is newest)
- Chipset Software update (R174616.exe)
- Desktop System Software update (R160758.exe)
The above are intentionally not linked; the filenames and/or URLS may shift around as newer versions of this crap come out. Also, exact support packages may be different for other Dell products exhibiting the same malfunctions.
- USB devices do not work, or only work intermittently (every Nth reboot); behavior may change slightly by enabling/disabling different combinations of USB ports in the BIOS (or this may be a placebo effect on my part, who knows)
- Dreaded “Dee-Dunk” noise shortly after Windows desktop appears
- USB devices such as keyboards, mouse, etc. work for a while, then mysteriously stop working until machine is rebooted
- “USB Device Not Recognized”…
- “There was a problem installing this hardware: <blah> The device cannot start. (Code 10)”
- After installing a certain USB driver, machine crashes/hangs with a black screen for several minutes before the Windows desktop appears (may depend whether the corresponding device is plugged in)
- Machine hangs when trying to install USB device driver
- Software hangs trying to scan the bus or access a USB device