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Dell is stumped!


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#1
The Admiral

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Hi everyone,

I have a problem, and everybody here is stumped. One of my end users, using a Dell Latitude D620, cannot use a PC Card in his system. It seems to be enabled in the BIOS, and the OS can see the PCMCIA controller (O2Micro) in the Device Manager. However no cards seem to get power. We ran the 32-bit diagnostics from the Dell ResourceCD and received the following results from the PCMCIA Controller test:

card power - not active
pc card - not detected
disable/resume - not active
automatic power - disabled
pc card power - disabled
card status - disabled
test result - pass

Nobody here knows why the power to the slot would be disabled. Windows sees the slot, the BIOS sees the slot, and the diags see the slot, but it isn't providing power.

Does anybody have an idea where to start? Nothing in Device Manager, Power Options, or Dell QuickSet.
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#2
Granz00

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I had a problem with my notebook where the fingerprint scanner stopped working. However, it could still be detected, and was reported as working. My neighbor told me to try unplugging then plugging in the wires to it again. I didn't get to try this, and instead sent it to HP and I believe they replaced the part.

Maybe you can try either of those options to see if it helps? I definately don't know the problem or the solution, but any suggestions help right?
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#3
Kazzoo

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Greetings The Admiral

Quick thought, in device manager check the properties of the card/slot and see if a check block is checked to "allow computer to turn this device off to save power"

Regards

Kaz
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#4
Kazzoo

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Greetings again The Admiral,

On a little investigation, It does seem the nature of the O2 micro pcmcia slot/connector not to give out power until a card is recognized or plugged in.

A switch so to speak.

is an integrated single-chip power switching solution for an ExpressCard™ (a trademark of PCMICIA) slot. They are used in conjunction with a data output CardBus controller to control and distribute VCC and VPP voltages to PC Card


This power switching is done automatically, and controlled by firmware and hardware called a Cardbus controller. It is determined through this circuitry what voltage is given to the PC card. Card goes in , a circuit (card detect) is made, a signal is sent.

Ok so now what? Do you know if the PC card you are trying to use is 1. A express card or 2. a serial card. (usually one row vs two row of sockets)

Next are you using the right kind of Card for the computer? Is Laptop serial or express?

Next is the Card you are using a known good card?

Does it work anywhere else?

Does another Known good Card work in the Laptop ? Could be only that brand or model is giving you the trouble.

Does the software for the card need to be in place first before the card is introduced for the first time? That is, were you supposed to install the software with the card out of the system, then after a shutdown insert the card?

Check the installation steps.

Shine a light into the slot and see if there are any bent, missing pins on the connector.


I would suspect with an empty slot the test results you would seem right.

Customer willing to give up Laptop for a main board replacement? Or would be satisfied with a workaround?

Regards

Kaz
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#5
The Admiral

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Quick thought, in device manager check the properties of the card/slot and see if a check block is checked to "allow computer to turn this device off to save power"

No power management settings in Device Manager.

Ok so now what? Do you know if the PC card you are trying to use is 1. A express card or 2. a serial card. (usually one row vs two row of sockets)

PC Card is used in reference to PCMCIA cards. Express cards are totally different. The cards we have tried are Type II PCMCIA Cards, two rows of pins.

Next are you using the right kind of Card for the computer? Is Laptop serial or express?

The laptop has a PCMCIA slot, the cards are PCMCIA Type II.

Next is the Card you are using a known good card?

Yes.

Does it work anywhere else?

Yes. A D620 from the same batch.

Does another Known good Card work in the Laptop ? Could be only that brand or model is giving you the trouble.

Nope.

Does the software for the card need to be in place first before the card is introduced for the first time? That is, were you supposed to install the software with the card out of the system, then after a shutdown insert the card?

Not to my knowledge, but it should detect that something is there, even if special software is not there.

Shine a light into the slot and see if there are any bent, missing pins on the connector.

All clear.

Customer willing to give up Laptop for a main board replacement? Or would be satisfied with a workaround?

Willing to do parts replacement, but we're not sure it is a hardware failure. Symptoms appeared post-OSRI. Sorry I forgot to mention that before. Drivers are installed OK.

Edited by The Admiral, 18 August 2008 - 03:27 PM.

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#6
Kazzoo

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Greetings The Admiral

Perhaps time to do some surgery? See if the card cage has come away from the Motherboard connectors just enough not to seat the card correctly.

Couple more software thoughts, is there a svc..such as a pcmcia.sys not starting? Maybe administrative tools and the event viewer may shed some light?

If you can see if like a live CD of linux like knoppix or ubuntu will bring up all your devices? Sure would help point if it is hardware/software issue.

Best regards

Kaz.
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