Dell Inspiron 8500 PCMCIA card slot repair?

By EStreetJerseyGirl ·
Hi! Got a bit of a problem ... a few weeks ago, my husband's Dell Inspiron 8500 notebook was knocked off the table onto the floor. There was a PCMCIA card in the slot at the time, and that got a little bent, but it still works (we tested it on 2 other laptops). The problem is, ever since then, the card slot on his laptop won't recognize any PCMCIA cards. We tried 2 PCMCIA cards that we know work on other laptops - the one that was in it at the time (a Linksys wireless card) and an ethernet adapter card, but his laptop won't recognize either.

After spending the past hour on the phone with various departments at Dell, I ended up with the answer from them that we have to replace the entire motherboard for $500 because the PCMCIA slot is soldered to the motherboard and is unable to be repaired. I figured before we spend that much money on a new motherboard, I'd ask here to find out if anyone knows any tricks to repair PCMCIA slots.

Any help is VERY much appreciated!



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Very tricky repair

by mjd420nova In reply to Dell Inspiron 8500 PCMCIA ...

I would not take this repair lightly, replacement is far easier. I do however and have repaired these failures. First, disassembly is required and a good static free mat and wrist strap is the first step. Next, a good needle point, low wattage soldering iron and a fine tip solder sucker are essential. For those with the skills a high power magnifier with high intensity lamp is needed for those who have done this for many years and are now suffering from ageing eyesight. Being very careful not to apply too much heat or pressure, the broken connector has to be removed without lifting any traces. Next any damaged traces have to be repaired as some many have been lifted by the impact. If you are lucky to only have traces on the top and bottom of the board (non-multilayer) then installing the new connector and soldering in place is the final step before re-assembly and testing. Godd luck.

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Slot or connection issue?

by rustyalice In reply to Dell Inspiron 8500 PCMCIA ...

Jennifer - You may not need to do any soldering. I replaced a card slot on an i8500 which wasn't too difficult. The problem for you is finding a replacement. At the time, I had a spare motherboard for an i8500 - the board was bad but the slot still worked. If your problem is not the connection between the card slot and the board, but the slot itself, then it is basically an exercise of taking your machine apart to get to it, screwing the new slot in place and putting everything back together. Good luck.

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