My PC Card (PCMCIA) does not fit in my laptop

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

New computers

PC Card doesn't fitIf you have a newer laptop computer (2004 and later), make sure your laptop supports PC Cards (also commonly referred to as PCMCIA card). Many new laptops are replacing the older PC Card standard with the newer ExpressCard standard, which does not support older PC Cards.

If you have a computer that is using the new ExpressCard, you must replace all your existing PC Cards with ExpressCard equivalents. Or, when purchasing new expansion cards, only purchase ExpressCards. Attempting to force a PC Card into an ExpressCard slot will damage the computer.

Older computers with PC Card and PCMCIA slots

Disclaimer: Whenever trying to put a PC Card in the computer never force the card into the computer. A PC Card should go into the laptop with very little or no difficulty. Finally, not all PC Cards are hot-swappable. If you're having difficulty inserting a PC Card we suggest you turn off the computer and troubleshoot the slot while they computer is off.

If you're using a laptop older than 2004 or have verified your laptop is using the PC Card standard and not the ExpressCard standard as mentioned above try following the below suggestions.

  1. Verify the PC Card type is supported on your computer. All laptops with two PC Card slots support types 1, 2, and 3. Slimmer laptops or other portable devices that support PCMCIA may not support all these cards.
  2. Make sure all dongles or other attachments that can be removed are disconnected from the card.
  3. ExpressCards are not compatible with PC Cards, therefore cannot be properly inserted into these slots.
  4. Remove all other cards. If you have more than one PC Card, try removing the other card before installing the card you're having difficulty installing. If you're able to insert the card with the other card removed it's likely an incompatibility between the two cards.

Additional information