Dell Inspiron 3800 PCMCIA slots suddenly stopped working

Hi thanks for reading,

Both slots suddenly stopped working.  I confirmed that the card is functioning correcty in another computer, and that the the controllers are active and functioning properly in the device manager.

I'm guessing this is hardware related.  Anything I can do about this?  Where do I start?


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First try booting with another OS to make sure this is hardware and not OS related. A good bootable Linux from CD is knoppix. Download it from
Clicked on "Submit" too early. Once you have verified the problem to be caused by hardware, you'd have to open up the PC and remove almost everything. The PCCARD cage is often connected via a connector to the mainboard, but there is also a lot of things around it. Sometimes you can remove the case of the cage so that you can see inside. Look for bent or contacts. Probably you'll have to replace the whole PCCARD cage.

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jb1013Author Commented:
Thank Rindi,

Cool Linux CD.  I've booted into it, but I know very little about Linux, so I'm not sure what to check now.  I noticed during the boot sequence it detected the PCMCIA Controller, however it didn't seem to detect the cards.  I assume if it did it would have asked for a driver?  Not sure if this is P&P or not so I'm not sure.

Thanks for the assist.

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What card have you inserted? Some, but not all, will show up if you use the system info tool which you should find somewhere in System Tools.
jb1013Author Commented:
Sound Card and Wireless NIC

Couldn't find system tools.

Is this OS Plug and Play.  If insert a card while the OS is booted should it detect new hardware and ask for a driver?

It is plug and play and if you plug in a device it should install it, but not ask for a driver. If there is no driver on the CD it will not run correctly.

A lot of wireless cards don't have linux drivers, so these won't be found. The sound card could be possible, though. Also, during bootup you should see those drivers which get loaded. If you can see one of those cards which are in the system listed there, the PCCard system works.
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