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metallic tape on MOBO lost its stickiness: is that causing my hardware problem?

By finisterre ยท 11 replies
May 19, 2007
  1. My laptop's PCMCIA socket connection is loose and requires you to press hard underneath the laptop to get a connection. I *think* the problem may be a strip of metallic tape on the motherboard having lost its stickiness (due to age and/or dust).

    Can I do anything about this?


    That's the gist of it, here are full details:

    The PCMCIA wireless card only establishes electrical connection when you press on the laptop from below in a certain spot. I mean, you do that to get the card's Power light to go on. Once it's on, internet connections are fine -- so it's a hardware problem, not a networking problem.

    I took laptop apart: PCMCIA socket does not appear even minutely loose.

    Took off the RAM door on the underside of the laptop and noticed that almost exactly at the point where you gotta press (when the door's attached) to get the card to connect, a 2mm-wide strip of foil tape was a tiny bit loose.

    Blew dust off, gently pressed it back down. Now the card stays connected better, though still easily loses contact.

    Coincidence? Or did I find the root of the problem - and if so, can I clean or replace the tape?

    And what is the correct term for that tape?

    Hope this is the right forum; sounds like problem that Mobo experts would know about.

    (Compaq Presario 2100)

    many thanks
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I suggest a mobo replacement. Of course you will need to reinstall windows, etc...
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Is that the V2100 series?
  4. finisterre

    finisterre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no, just plain 2100.
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    If the PCMICA slot is damage you need to replace the MOBO or you can use the USB 2.0 as your wireless access point. Did you think about doing that?
  6. finisterre

    finisterre TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Fill me in -- have you dealt with this problem before, could it in fact be the tape, is that something that even a repair shop can't do anything about...?

    The computer is otherwise running flawlessly.

    I'm remembering the one time I had to reinstall Windows and it took 50, maybe 75 hours to get back where I was before: installing ~100 programs, hellish battles with drivers and conflicts, countless tweaks I've done over the years to work around various moronic Windows and MS Office behaviors, XP updates (can't simply do SP2 coz I use old programs that won't run with it)

  7. finisterre

    finisterre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Good idea - thanks. Didn't know there were such things as small laptop-suitable USB wireless adapters. I'm wondering if the prevalence of PCMCIA adapters means they're more powerful than USB?

    I only have USB 1, does that mean my connection will be slow?

    Then there's the problem of things dangling etc coz my USB slot is so close to the AC connector that only USB devices shaped just right, like memory keys and USB cables, can fit. For example, this Belkin one would not fit, necessitating a USB cable:

  8. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    No, that depends on two things:

    1. Are you close to your router
    2. Speed of your connection and any firewalls.

    So 1 USB port doesnt mean anything.
  9. finisterre

    finisterre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    k, great, that's good to know.

    (so USB 2.0 isn't any faster than 1 for wireless adapters but is with other kinds of devices? just curious)
  10. gavilan

    gavilan TS Rookie Posts: 62

    I think he's talking about USB 1.0

    USB 1 only runs at 11 mbps. That will severely limit your connection speed if you have an 802.11g adapter, but it would still be fine for internet use (avg. internet connection is 1.5-8 mbps)
  11. finisterre

    finisterre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I'm accustomed to connection speeds of around 6-8 mbps with my 802.11g PCMCIA card and slightly faster with ethernet cable (are they *supposed* to be faster than that?), so if a USB 1.0 wireless adapter can use the full 11 mpbs, it'd be fine.

    This is at home, with a cable modem.

    I've never felt that connections that supposedly should be much faster, such as on campus at my university (LAN or T1 or something???), actually perform much faster for viewing websites. Always wondered if bandwidths above 8 mpbs or so matter only to people managing entire networks or moving many gigs of data around every minute, but that's getting off topic...
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    If you have USB hub you can split the connection 4-ways also just to let you know or just use the hub to extend your USB.

    USB 1 - 1.5mbps to 12mbps
    USB 2 - 480mbps (but thats more for file transfer as most cable modem are from 1.5mbps-20mbs or more in some areas.

    Belkin USB 2.0 54G is fine most of other brands do the same..
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