I have a PCI to PCMCIA adapter card that's installed in a Dell server running Linux 2.6. The documentation indicates that it works with both 3.3V and 5V cards, and with both 16-bit PCMCIA and Cardbus. When I insert a 16-bit PCMCIA card, the card is recognized, appears in /sys/bus/pcmcia, and everything works. When I insert a Cardbus card, dmesg reports "pccard: CardBus card inserted into slot 0" and nothing else happens. The card isn't visible in lspci or /sys/bus/pci, the driver isn't loaded, and there are no resource allocation errors or any kind of weirdness in dmesg, just nothing.

pccardctl info shows this:


but as I understand it, this is to be expected for Cardbus cards in 2.6? I think?

The adapter is a "Creative I/O" model, which is a no-name, but the chip is a Ricoh RL5c475 (PCI ID 1180:0475), which I thought was supposed to work quite well in Linux. The problem is the same on 2.6.18 and 2.6.26 (both Debian builds). I can try 2.6.30 from backports or 2.6.31 custom built but only if there's some good reason to expect an improvement.

Does anyone have suggestions for next steps, or should I just try replacing the adapter?

Additional info: the card works when I install the adapter in a Windows machine. Different hardware, though -- I don't have a PE2850 with windows.


Problem Resolved

The problem was a PCI bus overlap issue. The BIOS-provided PCI bus numbering didn't leave any space for the Cardbus bus on the other side of the bridge to receive a bus number. This was indicated by the message "Upper limit for fixing this bridge's parent bridge: #0a" in dmesg (unfortunately it wasn't a very insistent message!). I was able to solve the problem by booting linux with the option pci=assign-busses.

  • Nasty - how did you figure it out? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 18 '09 at 22:43
  • using lspci -H1 -M which was a command I found on another website. It maps the PCI bus directly, and it had a more forceful warning about the bus overlap that made me realize yes, that was the problem. – hobbs Oct 19 '09 at 2:12

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