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Ask Max: USB PCMCIA Card adapter has no power

Asked on 10/29/2007:

I own a Macintosh PowerBook G3 Wallstreet and it has no USB port. I bought a Comp USA USB 2.0 Cardbus PC card adaptor so I could plug in my Scandisk flash drive into my laptop to save files. For some reason, though, it does not seem to be recognizing the USB adapter. Did I buy the wrong one?


I don't believe that you made a bad purchase, but it may not do what you need. Most USB 2.0 cards will not work in OS 9, so you must have OS X 10.2 or higher on your PowerBook. Also, USB PC Cards (AKA PCMCIA cards) will not provide bus power to any device. So a USB printer or USB hard drive with its own power supply will work on your card, but a bus-powered device that doesn't have its own power cord, like your flash drive, will not work reliably. Sometimes adding a powered USB 2.0 hub in between the card and flash drive will let the two work together.

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