ExpressCard slot defective?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ditogi, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. ditogi macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2008
    Hello all,

    I just got my first Mac, a 15 inch MBP. I bought this Sandisk Memory Card adapter:

    When I plug it into my MBP nothing happens. Is an icon supposed to pop up on the desktop like when you put a CD in?
    Is there a way to see if my ExpressCard slot is operational through Mac OSX?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    ExpressCard allows two different connection types through the slot. PCI Express (1 channel, aka "PCI-E x1" or "1x PCI-E") or USB. Yup, some of the pins in that slot are really just another USB port.

    That's what your memory card reader uses. (Well, I assume it does, anyway. I have yet to see a single ExpressCard memory card reader that uses the PCI-E interface; simply because that would be overkill.)

    Therefore, if you go into System Profiler, then go to the "USB" section, you *MAY* be able to see it. (Note that I have seen memory card readers that only appear when you have a card in them.)

    I am attaching a screenshot (Picture 1) of System Profiler with my memory card reader in. It's the highlighted "UMH-U09" on the High-Speed bus. Every other device is built in to my MacBook Pro.

    For comparison, (Picture 2) I have my FireWire 800 card plugged in. This shows up in "PCI" as the two devices pictured. The "PCI-to-PCI Bridge" lists a "Link Width" of x1, which means it is the PCI Express x1 device. I'm guessing that the FireWire chip itself is a "Conventional" PCI device, not a PCI-E device, hence the need for the bridge chip to convert PCI-E to PCI.

    What could be going on is that the USB bus is messed up; or even just the USB part of the ExpressCard slot. First, make sure other USB devices work. Second, if you have access to any other ExpressCard devices, try them. (I doubt this one; they're not exactly common.)

    If your card appears in System Profiler, then the slot is fine, it's the card itself that's broken.

    Another thing is to peek in both the card ('slot' end and 'card' end,) and the ExpressCard slot on the computer. Make sure there is no dirt or lint clogging either one up. It could be as simple as no connection being made due to dirt.

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