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Type I or type II?

By bob ·
How do you determine if a PCMCIA card is type I or type II?
I have an older laptop that I need to purchase a NIC for but don't know if it is a which type it is.
I have a Xircom CreditCard Ethernet 10/100+ Modem 56 and it fits into the slot.
Unfortunately, there are no drivers for the antiquated OS this machine has loaded.
If I knew which type of card this is, I would know which kind the laptop requires and could buy an appropriate card.

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by TheChas In reply to Type I or type II?

From the FAQ section at

What are the different card types (Type I, II and III)?
The PC Card Standard provides physical specifications for three types of PC Cards, with additional provisions for extended cards. All three card types measure the same length and width and use the same 68-pin connector.
Because they differ only in thickness and not electrical/software interface, a thinner card can be used in a thicker slot, but a thicker card can not be used in a thinner slot. Only the mechanical size of the larger card prevents it from fitting into the smaller slot.

| | Length | Width | Thickness | Typical Usage*
| Type I | 85.6 mm | 54.0 mm | 3.3 mm | Memory (SRAM,Flash,etc)
| Type II | " | " | 5.0 mm | I/O (Modem,LAN,etc)
| Type III | " | " | 10.5 mm | Rotating Mass Storage
* While any card can theoretically be used for any device, due to their size differences, the card types each fit the needs of different applications.

Basically, the difference between type 1 and type 2 PCMCIA cards is the thickness of the card.

Often a laptop can accept 1 type 2 or 2 type 1 cards.

Of greater concern for you, is finding a NIC that has drivers for the OS on the laptop.

Another major concern is does the laptop support "Cardbus" devices?
Cardbus support is not just drivers, but hardware dependent.

I suggest looking at sites that specialize in hardware for older systems such as


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by rsoly777 In reply to Type I or type II?

There are in fact three types of PCMCIA cards. All three have the same rectangular size (85.6 by 54 millimeters), but different widths
Type I cards can be up to 3.3 mm thick, and are used primarily for adding additional ROM or RAM to a computer.
Type II cards can be up to 5.5 mm thick. These cards are often used for modem and fax modem cards.
Type III cards can be up to 10.5 mm thick, which is sufficiently large for portable disk drives.
As with the cards, PCMCIA slots also come in three sizes:

A Type I slot can hold one Type I card
A Type II slot can hold one Type II card or one Type I card
A Type III slot can hold one Type III card or any combination of two Type I or II cards.
In general, you can exchange PC Cards on the fly, without rebooting your computer. For example, you can slip in a fax modem card when you want to send a fax and then, when you're done, replace the fax modem card with a memory card.

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