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IBM/Lenovo on-site support

I am less enthusiastic about the number of hardware issues I've had with my Thinkpad X40 (3 harddrive replacements, 1 keyboard replacement) than I am with their technical support.

Starting at last weekend's bug squashing party, my X40 would randomly lock up, probably in response to some interrupts (network, input devices, ...). At first I thought it was only the 2.6.18 kernel acting up, but now I am seeing crashes with 2.6.17 as well. Thus, I called the support hotline to make use of my 24-hour on-site support contract. Abridged, this is how the call went:

I: It randomly freezes. The harddrive seems fine, and memtest86+ also ran fine.

He: Please run the diagnostics tool.

I: I don't have that installed. [I did not mention that I do not run Windows, but mumbled something about it being a university installation and that I cannot install the tool]

He: Hm, okay. So it's not the hard drive and it's not memory, so there's not much left. I'll have a local technician get in touch with you tomorrow.

Not more than 10 minutes later I had arranged for a replacement. And this was not the first time I came out of an IBM/Lenovo support call with a good feeling.


NP: Porcupine Tree / XM II

Update: the technician had to stop over twice. The motherboard/CPU/RAM exchange the first time around didn't cure the problem. The second time, he brought yet another motherboard/CPU/RAM combination, and after we had removed WLAN and Bluetooth cards, as well as tried a new harddrive, the problem persisted.

Then I remembered that the first time I saw this issue (the machine freezing just after xdm started) was after the same technician had replaced my keyboard in July, after the space bar started working sporadically. We thus tried a new keyboard, which fixed the problem. After exchanging every aspect of my laptop, it's finally back to normal working order, and I got to keep the old parts (which, apart from the keyboard, are still in working order).

I find it curious that a keyboard (a keyboard) can hang Linux. News at 11.

Update: it's not the keyboard; the problem is back. I have now taken the time to analyse it in depth and managed to split it in two: #391955 and #394200. And believe it or not, it seems to be software-related, but I am far from sure.