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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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PC CARD ANNOYANCES

FITTING PC CARDS

The Annoyance:

I have a Type III PCMCIA drive card that I want to use with my laptop, but it doesn’t seem to fit.

The Fix:

Easy there, killer. Your laptop probably doesn’t offer a Type III card slot. The PCMCIA standards body (http://www.pcmcia.org) defines three types of PC Cards. All three card types use the same length and width (and the same 68-pin PC Card connector), but differ in thickness:

Card type

Thickness

Type I

3.3 mm

Type II

5.0 mm

Type II

10.5 mm

You typically use thin Type I cards for memory devices such as RAM, flash, or SRAM cards. Type II cards are usually used for I/O-intensive hardware such as modems, NICs, or USB/FireWire port adapters. Type III cards handle mass-storage devices with large components (such as rotating platters). Since cards differ only in physical thickness, thinner cards can serve in thicker slots, but not vice versa.

However, most current laptops offer two Type II slots together, allowing for either two Type II devices or one Type III (thicker) device. Check the card slots and make sure no plugs or dummy cards occupy the slots (some manufacturers plug these slots to keep out dust). Once you remove the plugs, you may be able to use the Type III drive. If not, you may have an older laptop stuck with Type I or II devices.

SCSI DRIVE IGNORES LAPTOP ADAPTER

The Annoyance:

I installed a PCMCIA SCSI adapter, but the SCSI drive refuses to communicate with the laptop.

The Fix:

First, open the System control panel, click ...

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