Needlessly abject

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Sierra Wireless Compass 597 Fiasco

Hey, lazyweb-- do you know anything about Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB CDMA adapters causing NT kernel "STOP" errors (aka "Blue Screen" or "BSOD") on Windows XP Professional installations?

I've got three (3) of these adapters, and four (4) different laptop computers, and I can reliably make all of the combinations of adapters and laptops stop just by plugging-in the adapter after the drivers are loaded.

The adapter has this hokey function where it appears initially as a USB CD-ROM drive (called "TRU-install"-- used to load the driver w/o requiring outboard CD media), and that functions fine. Some of the Sierra Wireless k-base articles relate to problems with this installation process, but that's not my problem.

After the drivers are loaded, though, plugging-in the adapter results in an NT kernel stop to the tune of:

STOP 0x0000001D (0x305f6469, 0x00000002, 0x00000008, 0x305f6469) 

I've managed to replicate this on a Dell Latitude D630, a Latitude D430, an Inspiron 6400, and an Inspiron 710m. All the machines have Symantec Antivirus installed, but I uninstalled it one one computer and observed the same behavior. Other commonalities between the machines are user-land software-- Microsoft Office 2003, Adobe Reader 8, etc. There's no other software in common between all the machines that should have kind of kernel-mode driver loaded.

All the machines were installed with Service Pack 2 and all current updates, but for kicks I installed Service Pack 3 onto two (2) of the PCs and saw no change in behavior.

(Our wireless carrier on these, BTW, is Sprint. I've downloaded the most current version of their hideous management software from their web site, and also tried to install the device without the Sprint software, just using the Sierra Wireless drivers to make it appear as a modem. No dice for either of those attempts... *sigh*)

I'm preparing to install a white-box desktop computer with a clean installation of Windows XP and Service Pack 2 (with no additional software) to see what happens. I've got another Latitude D630 to try, as well (one with a software load I can wipe with impunity).

I've been loading the drivers provided with the device in its USB mass-storage profile. Given that I can't get the PC to operate with the device plugged-in, it's difficult for me to report on version numbers of drivers. Plugging-in the device while booted in "Safe Mode", I see a driver that "cannot start" provided by Sierra Wireless dated 6/20/2008, version, signed by WHQL.

I've searched and searched, and I'm not coming up with much in the way of similar reports. Hopefully, I'll attract some other poor souls who are seeing the same behavior with this post. We'll just see...

I know that the problem isn't any of the following:

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