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Thread: Question on PCMCIA USB 2.0 card adapter for notebooks

  1. #1

    Default Question on PCMCIA USB 2.0 card adapter for notebooks

    Hi All,

    I recently purchased a SYBA PCMCIA USB 2.0 adapter to upgrade my old USB 1.1 port

    I am currently using it with a very old Toshiba Satellite 2100 CDT notebook which has only one USB 1.1 port (notebook specs found in the link below).

    As mentioned before, this is a very old notebook but it runs pretty well when on XP, it was previously using the Win98 SE OS. Once I inserted the PCMCIA card, Windows XP detected it immediately and I was able to use without any conflicts. There is definitely a notable difference in speed compared to the previous USB 1.1 port. I however encountered a problem. I am not really sure if this is really a major issue but my notebook seems to be heating up very rapidly and the notebook cpu fan is almost turned on all the time indicating that the system is really heating up rapidly, not a good sign...

    I have only used the Syba to read a usb 2.0 card reader with a compact flash card attached to view all my digital images. I looked at the WinXP Task Manager under the performance tab and the system was fluctuating rapidly, at times, it was running at nearly a 100% and averaging between 70% to 80% this however did not hang or froze my system, it still worked without a glitch. This however is clearly not normal and I thought that the card reader reading my images might be over stressing the old notebook's processor (AMD K6 400). I immediately unhooked the card reader but the problem still persisted. I found that rather odd, as nothing was connected to the Syba device. It was only when I removed the Syba card that my system resumed back to normal. My concern is that the Syba might cause the notebook CPU to burn out. I read the instructions and it mentioned something like if you have a newer generation notebook, it should be able to easily power devices using both ports without any problems. If you however are using more "power hungry" devices, you should use a optional 5V dc power adapter to the card. I was provided with a USB adapter which I find pretty strange as it would need to hook it up with my PC to power the Syba on the notebook. I have not however tried this as the USB adapter is still packaged in a plastic wrapping and I do not want to open it just in case I need to return the card to the store which I bought it from.

    Here are some questions I have:

    1) Am I experiencing this problem due to the fact that since mine is an older notebook, I would need to use an additional optional 5V dc power adapter as the notebook is unable to support the additional power required from the Syba card?

    2) Will using the optional power adapter cause my system to run normally without overheating and running way beyond it usual level or is this normal? I would then just go get an optional 5V power adapter.

    3) Do you always leave your USB 2.0 PCMCIA card attached to your notebook, or do you remove it after use? If so, have you encountered the same problem heating and performance issues such as mine?

    4) I know this is a personal question, but I would really like your personal view on this. If you were me, would you just return the card to the store and get something else or just keep the card, and use it only sparingly as it may cause the notebook to overheat and damage the processor. I was thinking that for something that costs about $30, I run the risk of damaging my notebook that has been working fine all along. If that is the case, I rather stick with USB 1.1.

    Any other feedback or suggestions will be most welcome.

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Cons digger.


    i bought a friend the same adaptor. the first one we bought required ext power supply. I brough it back to change for another that worked perfectly on it's own w/o ext ps.

    Feeding additional power supply should not harm the laptop as it is just to power the peripheral. Unless the product is poorly designed (which I doubt so) I should be fine to leave it in.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler


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