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Troubleshoot Dead PCMCIA slot

Posted on 2004-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
HI,
I'm working with a Sony VAIO (pcg-sr7k) and the pcmcia slot seems to be dead. In device mgr it shows " Ricoh r/rl/rt/rc/5c475 rsc520 or compatible cardbus controller" as being fine. Device status in properties shows device to be working properly. I have tried removing the cardbus adapter and let XP reinstall, tried using the other generic cardbus adapter driver in xp, and I have been to Sony's "support" site to find no updates, or any mention of this issue.
I have tried 3 different pcmcia cards that are known to be good. As far as I can tell by pulling the cover off the notebook, the pins in the slot are all straight, with no obstructions or debris. The physical connection seems to be fine... Just whatever I plug into the slot does not get detected and does not work. I don't have a lot of hope this will be resolved without taking it to Sony, but I thought i'd let the experts take a stab at it first- Any assistance appreciated. Thanks...
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Question by:hardstarburst
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Da-Bu earned 500 total points
ID: 10769597
Looks like controller is unable to comunicate with pcmcia cards, probably some loose connection. Try tu plug in pcmcia card and then shake it a little bit, just to see if you can establish connection... anyway, the sony repair service will probably be busy with your laptop...

The drivers are not the issue here, since device manager show that device(the controller) and driver are functioning and is installed correctly.

Anyway, you should take it to sevice, specially if it is still under waranty...
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by:hardstarburst
ID: 10770293
You were correct. Upon deeper inspection if found there was in fact a "loose" connection- so loose in fact, that the entire line of pins on back of the connector housing were detatched from the motherboard! This looks like a failure because of an inherent design flaw. The pins going into the board should never be used to "backstop" the force of the card being inserted and seated into the slot. I'll take this up with Sony... 500 points for your trouble... thanks  
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Expert Comment

by:cody251
ID: 12314506
How did you fix this problem? New motherboard? I have a Sony with the same problem and I'm trying to find out if I need  a new motherboard.  
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