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PCMCIA CF Card woes (Windows 95 and Windows 98)

3lectr1c

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Newly registered here and ready to discuss PCs with a like-minded crowd!

I just got a ThinkPad 560 and it has no CD or floppy drives, which means PCMCIA CF is my only option for file transfer. It should work with the generic driver, but mine doesn’t. It recognizes the drive properly but it won’t mount the 1GB or so FAT partition on the CF Card. I found a post with the same problem elsewhere which was solved by running the PC Card setup from the control panel. I had already done this, and it didn’t fix the issue. Only difference is that for them, “PC Card services” moved from being an unknown device in device manager to a known one. Mine didn’t do this, but updating the driver didn’t solve it.

The same thing happens on my 385XD ThinkPad running Windows 98.

Thanks everyone!
 
PC Card isn't the only option. That laptop has a serial and a parallel port, meaning you can use INTERLNK/INTERSERVER to connect two machines.


Another option is to find an old PCMCIA Ethernet card that supports Windows 9x, or even a USB card. You'll need drivers for those, but you can pull the drive from the machine and copy them over manually.
 
I have a PCMCIA Ethernet card, but my house unfortunately isn’t wired for Ethernet so I’d have to go to the router in the living room and do everything on the floor, which is about the same amount of a pain as just taking the drive out and copying files over. I also don’t have a serial or parallel cable funny enough, although I should really get one as not every system I get is going to have PCMCIA. Thanks for the link on DCC, that should totally work if I get those cables.
 
How do you set up that type of device? I got something similar in the past, although it was just a mini dongle ethernet bridge, and it didn't work with my router because you could only connect it via WPS, which is apparently insecure, out of date, and my router doesn't support it.
 
The device I linked is currently supported, and the documentation is available on the manufacturer’s website. So, it will link to modern WiFi just fine.

- Alex
 
Looks like there is a newer version available, it seems it uses an app to set it up. Thanks for the link!
 
Nope. It's from 1996, the first ThinkPad with USB was something around the 380 series (1997/1998). 560Z might have one, but mine is a plain old 560. It is a nice config, active matrix display and 133MHz Pentium, the highest end you could get. 72MB of RAM as well! I'll probably figure out the CF card issue sooner or later, but it was about time I got a better system in place anyway. I have a SCSI device for my pre-USB Macs, but that's no good for most PC hardware.
 
I have a PCMCIA Ethernet card, but my house unfortunately isn’t wired for Ethernet so I’d have to go to the router in the living room and do everything on the floor, which is about the same amount of a pain as just taking the drive out and copying files over. I also don’t have a serial or parallel cable funny enough, although I should really get one as not every system I get is going to have PCMCIA. Thanks for the link on DCC, that should totally work if I get those cables.

Thanks to modern technology, you no longer have to saw holes in the walls and crawl around in the attic with a fish tape and swear at wires that won't go where you want them.


Plug one in near your internet router and plug it into your internet router. Plug the other one in wherever you have your laptop and plug it into your laptop. These use the mains wiring in your house as network cables. These work 99% of the time, the only instances where I've found they don't are in older houses with crappy electrical wiring and bad connections to mains outlets, as well as outlets on jack panels or detached buildings with separate mains feeds. All of the plugs need to be on the same breaker panel.
 
Think that would work in a house from the 30s? Maybe the extender would work better considering the potential age of the wiring. The fact that you can send network signal down mains wiring is insane though! I never would have thought that was possible.
 
Not sure how it'd do if the house has old knob and tube wiring, never hurts to try.

It'd be a better solution than wireless, which I never trust. Wireless will stop working if you look at it in a way which doesn't please it.
 
Will it work if it's plugged into a power bar, or only directly into an outlet?
 
It should work either way, but they are bulky so I usually plug it into the wall and then plug the power strip into the powerline ethernet adapter. One thing that might cause you problems is if at one end you're on a different side of the split single phase coming from your panel than the other the other end. I bought the gigabit model, and while it seems to be faster than 100mbps, it doesn't seem to be nearly as good as real, wired gigabit. Maybe 300 or 400 mbps on a good day.
 
Ah well, there’s no free outlet by the router (that isn’t on the power bar). That and the old wiring means I should probably go with the Wi-Fi extender when the time comes. I know it won’t be as fast or reliable like wired connections would be, but I generally don’t have issues with the Wi-Fi as it is, and I don’t need blazing speeds.
 
Whatever solution you choose, it's going to be interesting to see how you can get the correct drivers onto the ThinkPad as Windows 95 was notorious for asking for the Installation CD for just about any change made :oops: Have a feeling that taking the drive out and copying files over may be your easiest option.....
 
I copied the entire CD onto the hard drive in the windows\options\cabs directory, so that shouldn't be any issue. I've already got video and audio drivers installed, and it's been decent for DOS games like DOOM, planet x3 and similar. The good ol' drive out and copy method is what I've used, but you have to get the top case off to get to the drive in this model so it's rather annoying.
 
Bumping this because I still don't have a fix, and it's honestly infuriating. I've now tried 7 (SEVEN!) different Win9x laptops, and every last one of them has the exact same issue. They all detect the card as a standard IDE/ESDI controller, and act like everything's fine, except they won't mount the drive! I'm honestly so frustrated with this, it should be a reliable method to get files onto it. I've had similarly bad luck with direct cable connect tools.

Barely anyone else seems to have had this issue, and for them it was driver related. Can't be for me, because A: I've tried SEVEN LAPTOPS, and B: some of those laptops had their factory install on them still, with all factory setup and drivers. It can't be that one's missing because none could be, it's the factory-shipping install. And device manager is happy. Does anyone know how I could get this working???

The most frustrating part is that after all of this I go and watch a video of a guy and his libretto where he plugs it in and it just works. Then he talks about how nice it is that it required no extra setup at all!

At this point all I can think of that could possibly be at fault are:

- the adapter
- the card(s) I’ve tried multiple types
- the formatting.

The adapter works perfectly on windows XP and on all of my 90s Apple PowerBooks. The cards do the same. And the formatting was done on XP, but as FAT16, which should be fine!
 
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