Trying to get PCMCIA to work on an old laptop

David P. Donahue ddonahue at
Tue Oct 19 09:05:37 EDT 2004


  I have recently picked up an old laptop (Compaq Presario 1080) and I'm
planning to use it with Slackware 10.0 as a firewall.  However, I'm
having trouble getting the PCMCIA controller to work, which is where the
network card is located.  I've been discussing this in a thread at
alt.os.linux.slackware (group: -
.slackware) and it was suggested that I also contact this list.

  I'm somewhat unfamiliar with a lot of hardware troubleshooting in
Linux, as this is one of very few hardware problems I've faced, so
please consider me a "newbie" in this matter.  Basically, to summarize
the problem thus far:  I installed Slackware 10.0 on the aforementioned
old laptop with a relatively stripped-down installation due to limited
drive space.  (I can re-install easily enough if you think I missed a
component that I should have added.)  When I try to start PCMCIA
services (`/etc/rc.d/rc.pcmcia restart`) I see the message:

Starting PCMCIA services:
<Probing for PCIC: edit rc.pcmcia>
cardmgr[265]: no pcmcia driver in /proc/devices

Thus far, my attempts have included re-compiling the kernel with PCMCIA
support (everything under the PCMCIA menu in `make menuconfig`)
built-in.  But that changed nothing.  I'm wondering if the PCMCIA
hardware is, as someone in the thread suggested, "a wacky vintage."
Hopefully the HP support staff will respond to my email with detailed
hardware information.  (You can see the output of `dmesg` in the thread,
or I can paste it to this list if you'd like, but that's all the info I
really have on the hardware.)

Any help would be much appreciated,
David P. Donahue
ddonahue at

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