How To Use A Laptop Express Card

Unlike desktop, space inside a laptop is tiny; you can’t fit anything inside in it to enhance your machine’s performance. If you add hardware to increase your PC’s performance then you need to install those devices externally.

Most of us use pen drives and other devices which fit well in the USB ports. But there is another slot now which is common to laptops; it is called Express slot. This slot gives you more options to fit external devices like external hard disk or TV tuner card etc.

Here you have to remember that the card slot is situated in different places depending upon make & model of the laptop.

Different Types Of Express Card:

Many types of express cards are available for various purposes. All express cards come with 16 bit or 32 bit version. Here is some example of express cards: 16-bit PCMCIA, modem, 3G data cards like CDMA, GPRS, wireless LAN, SCSI are some important things to check before you buy.

Remember that though many laptops come with express slots, but not every laptop. Another thing is the size of express slot of every laptop is not same. Please see the manual of laptop before you buy any express card. If you can’t find manual of laptop or you can’t find it on the internet, then the easiest way to find absolute match is to take your laptop with you at the time of buying the card & take suggestion of counter salesperson regarding size & compatibility.
Remember some 32-bit LAN, 3G/3.5G I/O and wireless I/O cards work only on windows 7 environment.

Installation & Use:

First start your laptop. Insert the card into the slot, here you can hear a click sound & the LED of card starts blinking. Now a message comes on the screen “New hardware detected”.

Your card comes with a hardware installation CD, now install this properly. If you haven’t installed any card before, then read the tutorial before you install it. Follow all prompts of installation. Thereafter, your device will request for a restart. Do the same.

If you use a TV tuner card or some modem, then you need to start the program to start the functionality of the device.


After starting your laptop go to START > PROGRAME > click into your new installed program. Start the program & then you can use your new installed device!

If you use some wireless network card, then you need to do something different. First go to Start > Control Panel >Network Settings. By performing this, you will get the information related to wireless internet. Now select the hardware you installed recently. Your new installed device will show its manufacturer’s name. Now select connect to the internet & click apply.

Remember that every wireless connection or link has a unique SSID, so if you use WI-FI then connect to the particular network & put particular network key twice to connect to WI-FI router.

If you want to use external hard drive, then you need not do any such thing. Once you start your laptop, it will automatically detect your device & you can use it like a pen drive. But here also you need to install the driver.