Our firm has over 150 D600's, and we've experienced the same thing on some of our systems.
On one of them, we installed Dell's Quickset app. (so we could use the volume meter as a visual reference) and updated the BIOS to A11. This corrected the problem....but, only temporarily. Two days later, the problem was back again and, unfortunately, we have yet to find a permanent solution for that system.
Who knows? Updating the BIOS may correct your issue....it's worth a shot.
Hope this helps,
Dell D600, 1.6GHz, 512M, 30G HDD, DVD+r, 802.11b/g, W2K SP3
I also have been working with a D600 and the volume buttons no longer work. I have kept it updated with every possibly update for both Windows 2000 Professional and the Dell Quickset, BIOS, etc drivers.
It has become a great annoyance that I cannot use the volume buttons on the keyboard, not only will the volume keys not work, but I also cannot use the Function shortcut keys as well. The only way I can change the volume setting is to physically boot the laptop up, and then either use the system tray icon for the volume, or go into the Control Panel to access it.
Dell, is there any update on this you can provide besides reloading the system? If I reload and re-apply all the patches and everything, the problem continues. Or is there a third-pary software that anyone has figured out will make it at least let me use the Function shortcut keys on the keyboard to modify the volume? I've noticed a similar thread on this problem with the D800's (http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=latit_audio&message.id=5205) and I'm wondering if it's a universal problem for any model with the buttons for volume next to the power button?
Our company has purchased several D600's as well. They all ultimately have problems using the volume buttons. All have updated BIOS and the newest audio drivers. If this is a hardware problem then it has occurred on all of our D600's.
I believe the issue is with the audio driver. A work-around that I have found it to go into Device Manager, open the sound controllers and then disable and re-enable the SigmaTel C-Major Audio device. Viola! The volume buttons now work on both the internal keyboard and my external USB keyboard. The down side is the volume icon in the tool tray disappears.
I just received a new D600 2 weeks ago, and have the intermittent (mostly not working) volume buttons problem described here. Very annoying for a brand new system.
But, I have found something, and would like others to confirm. When I remove the laptop battery, and boot from AC, the volume keys ALWAYS work fine. (After fully booting, I can then insert the battery, and the keys continue to work.) When I boot with the battery in place (with or without AC power), the volume keys tend not to work.
I believe this problem is a power management / audio driver conflict, which Dell needs to fix. Can others try this, and report back? Enough consistent results should point Dell in the right direction.
I never was able to get the volume buttons to work with the battery & AC adapter juggling.
However, something extremely odd...one day I just booted up one of my laptops and suddenly, viola!, the buttons started working again. I had not done any new Windows Updates, I hadn't installed anything new, I hadn't even saved a new file onto it within the last week (while still using it for general programs that entire week). I have no clue why it is working now, but I'm happy...however I am also unhappy with the fact I don't know why this happened and it could fail just as easily as it started working again.