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Connecting a PCMCIA device to a USB port certainly might be possible given what's available on the market today.

Is it possible to connect a pcmcia external hard drive to a laptop via a usb connector?

With all the different types of interfaces that exist or have existed, it's not at all unreasonable to expect that there might be an adapter that would convert just about anything to just about anything else. USB is a particularly handy interface for this.

So I would certainly think so.

I did a search for "usb-to-pcmcia" and it shows several manufacturers that make PCMCIA adapters that plug into USB ports. You might need to do a little bit of research through the results since the opposite - USB adapters that plug into PCMCIA ports - is currently much more common.

Obviously the best approach is plugging the pcmcia device into a laptop's existing pcmcia slot(s). Or, if you're buying a new drive, just get a USB drive to begin with. But what you've asked for specifically should also be quite possible.

Article C2302 - March 10, 2005 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

July 15, 2005 2:37 AM

i've no PCMCIA slot on my laptop but i need to connect Vodafone PCMCIA datacard. please help

November 8, 2005 4:36 AM

do USB ports in previous versions of window xp require a separate driver for USB hub/ expander? are they generic drivers for all expanders or specific ones? what else is the way out for plugging in more USB supported devices when USB is such a facilitative thing in a PC these days?

Angel (San Diego)
January 16, 2006 8:28 AM

The U111 offered in Britian allows laptops without a PCMCIA card reader to plug in a USB port. This device will allow those who are subscribing to broadband access the capability to share the airwaves. The unit cost approx $120 however I'm sure there is something out there much cheaper. Keep searching... its out there.

June 1, 2006 7:22 PM

I looking for cardbus reader. Is egsists something like any universal 32-bit PCMCIA reader?

June 5, 2006 6:13 AM

Be carefull, all the adapter doesn't work with all PCMCIA card, for example, the U111 works only with 16bits cards, the U132 works with some 32bits cards, but not all of them, for example, the PC Card Option GT 3G EDGE (HSDPA ready) doesn't work properly with...
You can see the card at the bottom of this site :
I tryed a lot of them and none of them had been working with this card.
The better way will be to try before buy.

Gavin Hirst
August 24, 2006 9:36 AM

Hi I have exactly the same issue with the laptop not having a PCMCIA slot. I have a 3G card already adn I also have a Nokia N70.

I can connect to the web with my Datacard SIM in the N70 via USB. I have the guys looking into the possibility of connecting via Bluetooth to make it a bit easier when I travel.
Just thought I'd share what I'd learned :)

February 2, 2007 7:49 PM

i am purchased compaq 6111tu laptop & want to add PCMCIA bus slot in the same so that i can communicate with my one medical equipment. please provide the solution

April 27, 2007 11:57 PM

I bought a dell without a pcmcia slot, so are there any devices available that will hook into my usb port to the pcmcia slot. You mentioned that there were but didnt give any names....

September 11, 2007 8:58 PM

I looking for cardbus reader. Is egsists something like any universal 32-bit PCMCIA reader?

January 15, 2008 4:43 PM

I just found a pcmcia expander. i can't find the page that brought me here (it was from your mail bag and asked for a pcmcia expander). it looks to run around $150. "Accurite DoubleSlot Expander" is the name and it may or may not be compatible with a particular laptop so find out before purchasing.

August 21, 2009 5:47 AM

i've no PCMCIA slot on my laptop but i need to connect BSNL PCMCIA datacard.
Is this possible? ,please help

July 13, 2010 7:22 AM

i've no PCMCIA slot on my laptop but i need to connect BSNL PCMCIA datacard.
Is this possible? ,please help

As the article you just commented points out there appear to be USB to PCMCIA adapters that should work.

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