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PCMCIA card slots


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#1 melking

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 06:29 PM

Hi folks- I have an IBM Thinkpad 760c which has two PC card slots . I can't get the lower slot to work.
When I open the 760 test screen the PCMCIA-1 checks ok,but the PCMCIA-2 icon is grated out and does not respond. I have DOS 6.22/windows 3.1 installed . I tried using the DOS Mode command to setup com ports .Com 1 is ok but trying any other com port number comes up with the message "illegal device name"
Is there a board problem somewhere?
Regards
Mel

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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 07:54 PM

The Thinkpad is a legacy machine, circa 1995, so I assume you are running Windows 2000 or XP.  One of your slots failed, that's about all there is to it. Unfortunately, this is legacy equipment so repairing it is questionable. You can try blowing it out with compressed air but I doubt that dust is the problem. In fact, if you have critical data on those PCMCIA cards you might consider backing it up off of the computer.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 melking

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 09:28 PM

Hi there Ranchhand-Youre right it is a legacy machine.It was purchased back in 1997 as part of a GPS system used for evaluating helicopter landing approaches. It was used for around 10 years and then lay in the back room since. I am reviving it because it is compact and we have impending work for which it would be ideal. The thinkpad button cells were all flat and the hard drive didn't work. I have replaced the batteries,and hard drive,installed the operating system [windows 3.1/DOS6.22] together with the third party DOS survey program ,from the originally supplied floppies.Everything leaps back into life except for the second PCMCIA slot.I was just wanting to know whether there was some software action needed or whether its some failure on the slot controller side . looks like you suspect the latter. 

regards

mel



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 11:33 PM

Gosh, Mel, it sounds like you know more about it than me.  It could be a controller issue, in which case the motherboard might be called into question. Or not. I am not sure how those slots were set, but I suspect that they were integrated onto the motherboard, and if so, replacing them would be a major job, if possible. I love restoring old technology, sort of a trip down memory lane, etc. But the fact that one slot works good and the other does not would rule out drivers/software, I think. So...if there is someone who could open it up and inspect the slot, hopefully there is a cable that came disconnected or something. I wish I could help you further but my knowledge is limited on the Thinkpad. Sounds like you are in a real interesting job field, the best to you!


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#5 GoFigure

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:51 AM

I use to work on the Thinkpads back in the 90s.  There is no software that would prohibit one slot from working, it is a hardware problem.  You might be able to find another Thinkpad that is being sold for parts that you could get the pcmcia device from.  You can get a hardware manual here (http://www.manualslib.com/products/Ibm-Thinkpad-760c-2392180.html).



#6 melking

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 12:37 PM

Thanks for that GoFigure- I will open it up and have a look. I have tracked down a place in the States that sell legacy parts.

Regards

Mel



#7 melking

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 10:38 PM

Hi Everybody- I solved the problem of enabling both PC Card slots on my Thinkpad 760C.The PC cards i am using are made by Socket Communications, and i found a floppy with drivers plus a whole lot of info including how to enable two slots using their Enabler program. So instead of installing the IBM Card Director I loaded the Socket Com drivers plus enabler program and followed their instructions which involved adding a couple of lines at the start of the Autoexec.bat file ,and renaming an .ini file.

Thankfully it enabled both slots as Com1 and Com 2. The system is now up and running.

Thought you might like to know about this.

Regards

Mel



#8 mjd420nova

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:52 PM

The PCMCIA were problematic to start and often got junk jammed in them.  The Socket drivers were the installation and setup, surprised it wasn't already installed.  The slots were real handy for portable data bases and diagnostics but like many interfaces of the past, have become obsolete.






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