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Q: PCMCIA Reader under Windows XP ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: PCMCIA Reader under Windows XP
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: ufi911-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2004 09:48 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2004 09:48 PDT
Question ID: 404748
Where can I purchase a PCMCIA reader/writer for SRAM cards that will
run under Windows XP?
Subject: Re: PCMCIA Reader under Windows XP
Answered By: aht-ga on 23 Sep 2004 10:37 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You are partly correct in thinking that the ActionTec PC750 PCMCIA
card reader/writer referenced in my colleague's comment below will not
meet your specific needs. However, the issue is not the lack of NT
support for SRAM cards, but rather is a reflection on the capabilities
of the reader itself.

While Windows XP is based on the original NT operating system, that
isn't a problem. The real problem is that Microsoft has discontinued
driver and development support for the consumer version of Windows NT,
meaning that even things like native support for USB ports is not
available for NT. Therefore, unless a peripheral manufacturer wants to
go to the trouble of extending the NT operating system on their own,
there is no simple way to write a driver for NT. XP, however, does
have the necessary driver and development support from MS.

Lower down on the page for the ActionTec PC750, you will also see that
SRAM card support is limited to Windows 95/98 only.

You will also need to confirm that your SRAM cards themselves are
Windows 2000/XP compatible; from the same vendor's website you can
purchase SRAM cards, and part of their documentation states:


Operating System Support:

DOS, Microsoft Windows 3.x, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP. (For Windows 2000 &
XP, the SRAM cards must have 2KB attribute.)

* The 2KB attribute memory is used for Card Information Structure
(CIS) storage. The CIS describes the characteristics and capabilities
of the card so the host system can automatically configure it. Some
device need this optional attribute memory for CIS.  It is recommended
to choose SRAM cards with the 2K attribute memory if you are not sure
which type is used by your devices since most of the devices using
SRAM card without attribute memory can also use SRAM card with
attribute memory.

So, if your SRAM cards do not have the 2KB CIS attribute, then Windows
2000/XP may not be able to recognize the card when it is inserted into
a compatible reader.

As for the reader, another product from the same vendor should meet
your needs (again, as long as your SRAM cards are Win2K/XP

Amtron Technology PCD-RP-101CS

The controller for this reader is able to handle a wider range of
standards, and appears to have better driver support. To be absolutely
certain that the unit will do what you want before you buy it, though,
I suggest that you contact Amtron Technology's Tech Support folks
using their e-mail contact information here:

They specifically state that SRAM cards may require some work-arounds
that they can help their customers with.

I hope that this helps!


Google Answers Researcher
ufi911-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the information.  You answered my question perfectly.

Subject: Re: PCMCIA Reader under Windows XP
From: tlspiegel-ga on 22 Sep 2004 10:08 PDT
Is this what you want to buy?
Subject: Re: PCMCIA Reader under Windows XP
From: ufi911-ga on 23 Sep 2004 09:42 PDT
I don't believe the unit you listed will work.  A snippet from their web page says:

"This PCMCIA card drive works under DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows
95/98/2000/XP, Windows NT. All PCMCIA cards except for SRAM and linear
flash cards are supported under Windows NT operating system."

It says 'except SRAM' under NT.  Seeing as XP is NT based, I don't
think this drive will work under XP.  If I am wrong, please correct

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