XP freezes when I insert wireless adapter card

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Impecunious, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. Impecunious

    Impecunious Guest


    I've got a Compaq Presario 2100, and for several months now I've been
    using a Linksys wireless adapter card with no problems. For whatever
    reason, though, now whenever I insert my card into the PCMCIA slot, the
    system and mouse immediately freeze. If I eject the card, the system
    resumes without incident. I'll also point out that the power light on
    the Linksys card doesn't light up. However, if I insert the card in
    another notebook, the power light comes on fine. I can't speak for my
    wife, but I don't believe we've changed anything fundamental about the
    system (e.g., updates, new software) that might cause the problem.

    I've worked with both Linksys and HP, and resinstalled the driver for
    my PCMCIA slot, but to no avail. Under Device Manager, nothing
    suggests that the slot is experiencing trouble, so at this point I'm
    stumped. How can I confirm that my slot is the problem, and if so,
    possibly fix it?

    Thanks to all.
    Impecunious, Nov 21, 2006
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  2. Impecunious

    Lem Guest

    It sounds as if you have bent some pins on the connector inside the
    PCMCIA slot. If you have good eyes, you might be able to see the pins
    by using a flashlight and looking into the slot. If you have, in fact,
    bent pins, I doubt that they can be straightened without taking the
    laptop apart.

    If you happen to have any compact flash cards around (e.g., from a
    digital camera), you can buy a PCMCIA compact flash adapter for about
    $10 and see if that works, but if the wireless adapter works in a
    different computer's slot but not in this one, the odds are that the
    slot in this laptop is the problem.
    Lem, Nov 21, 2006
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  3. Impecunious

    Impecunious Guest

    Thanks Lem. If the connector's pins in the slot are bent, how
    difficult would it be to get to the connector and "straighten" them?
    I'm not a computer technician, but I'd be willing to give it a try if
    it's possible for me to fix.
    Impecunious, Nov 21, 2006
  4. Impecunious

    Lem Guest

    I don't know. I've never done it. It depends on how comfortable you
    are with taking apart your laptop compared to how reluctant you are to
    pay an "authorized service provider" to do it. Depending on the model,
    this may be a replaceable socket or it may be on the motherboard.
    Here's the service manual:
    Search for "pcmcia" in the pdf file.
    Lem, Nov 21, 2006
  5. Impecunious

    Impecunious Guest

    The plot thickens...

    I've visually inspected the slot's pins, and nothing seems out of
    place. I also found a spare Ethernet card that I inserted in the port,
    and funnily enough, the system DIDN'T freeze. So now it appears that
    the issue might be with my Linksys card after all, even though the
    power light does come on when I try the card in another notebook.

    Now what?
    Impecunious, Nov 21, 2006
  6. Impecunious

    Lem Guest

    Now what? Beats me.

    You said that you reinstalled the driver for the PCMCIA slot. Have you
    also re-installed the driver for the Linksys card? I had assumed you
    had, because you started off saying that you had been working with
    Linksys, and that's an obvious first step. But you know what they say
    about "ass u me."

    Have you tried installing the driver for the Ethernet card and
    determined that it works in the Presario (not just that the power light
    comes on)?

    Have you installed the Linksys driver in the other notebook and
    confirmed that the Linksys card works there (not just that the power
    light comes on)?

    I mean, there are only so many combinations:

    If the Linksys card works in another computer, then the problem isn't
    the Linksys card.

    If a different PCMCIA card works in the problem computer, then the
    problem probably isn't the physical slot (I suppose there's always the
    possibility that one card uses some physical feature that another card
    doesn't, but I think that's pretty remote).

    Up to now, you (and I) have been equating "works" with "power light goes
    on." In fact, they are not the same.

    If the hardware is established to be OK (i.e., the Ethernet card
    functions in the Presario slot AND the Linksys card functions in another
    computer), then the problem must be in software.

    I don't have my laptop that uses a Linksys card with me, so I can't
    check, but go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and uninstall
    anything that looks like it has to do with Linksys. Then reinstall the
    driver (either from the CD that came with the card or download from
    Linksys. Unless you can connect the Presario to the Internet via
    Ethernet, you'll have to d/l the driver to another computer and burn it
    onto a CD).

    Good luck.
    Lem, Nov 21, 2006
  7. Impecunious

    David Hettel Guest

    I would suggest that after you uninstall any Linksys software from | Control
    Panel | Add/Remove software | you run a good registry cleaner like the free
    demo of TuneUp Utilities 2006 from www.tune-up.com rerun this until either
    it finds no more errors or can not fix any remaining errors, reboot, and
    then attempt to reinstall the drivers. Have you done a virus scan on this

    David Hettel

    Please post any reply as a follow-up message in the news group for everyone
    to see. I'm sorry, but I don't answer questions addressed directly to me in
    E-mail or news groups.

    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Program

    DISCLAIMER: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranty of any kind,
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    no rights.
    David Hettel, Nov 22, 2006
  8. Hi

    In addition to David and Lem's suggestions.

    Look at the laptop device manger and make sure that there is No Ghost
    installations of PCMCIA, and or Network related hardware,

    If there is any, delete them. Do all the cleaning and the deletion with
    nothing plugged into the PCMCIA sockets.

    If needed, log to the Presario's support site and obtain the recent software
    drivers pertaining to your model, and reinstall them.


    Jack (MVP-Networking).
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Nov 22, 2006
  9. Impecunious

    Lem Guest

    It's not that I don't trust registry cleaners ... but before you run
    one, do yourself a favor and create a System Restore point (or, better
    yet, runt ERUNT).
    Lem, Nov 22, 2006
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