So I got my brand new laptop in for repair, the second time already. They first replaced the system board and returned it to me... Still not working... Now it's been brought in for a second time and this time they're replacing the PCI-ISA card. All fine to me, but what exactly is a PCI-ISA card?


From the repair status page:

Part Number    Part Description
K000099140     PCI ISA CARD

They were trying to resolve the issue as stated here: Strange WLAN adapter behaviour; sometimes not detected

  • 2
    Maybe I am being too naive here, but: Are you sure they didn't mean the PCMCIA card? If they just said it on the phone, it can be easily misheard. – rumtscho Nov 22 '10 at 10:35
  • @rumtscho I got it in writing that they're replacing the PCI-ISA card, so no misheard acronyms... – BloodPhilia Nov 22 '10 at 10:47
  • Being in writing just means that the person who filled out the form mis-heard the description. – Dan is Fiddling by Firelight Jan 26 '11 at 15:09

There is no such thing as a PCI ISA card. There are ISA slots (in an old 8086 that ran DOS) EISA (about the 80386 era) PCI (80486) and PCIe. There are some other architectures (Micro Channel Architecture/MCA) but that one was proprietary and wasn't used as much. A PCI card could be a graphics card, audio card, network card, anything really. It's just a way for a device to talk to the computer. ISA card is the same answer (just a method for something to talk to the computer). You may want to ask which card they are changing, why, what they did to diagnose it, where is the output, etc. It sounds a little like they are changing your blinker fluid, and retrofitting your tires for Canadian air.

  • If it's a PCMCIA card the answer would be the same as the ISA or PCI card. It's just a way for a card (modem/network card/audio card/ etc..) to be added to a laptop. – Everett Nov 22 '10 at 10:41
  • I know what PCI is, and I know what ISA is, that's why I'm wondering what an PCI-ISA card is. I got it in writing that they're replacing the PCI-ISA card, so no misheard acronyms... – BloodPhilia Nov 22 '10 at 10:46
  • Okay then. How about a water pump for a 1971 VW beetle, and ask if you can pay them with a wooden nickel? I know of no device called a PCI-ISA card in 25 years of diagnosing/troubleshooting/repairing computers. I'm not perfect, and could be wrong, but I'd want them to prove it. – Everett Nov 22 '10 at 10:48
  • Haha! Well could it be like a PCI-ISA converter? – BloodPhilia Nov 22 '10 at 11:01
  • Accepted - For the answer to the actual question: "What exactly is a PCI-ISA card?" – BloodPhilia Nov 23 '10 at 11:52

The part K000099140 number is apparently a Toshiba wlan card. Perhaps they have an old invoicing system and they've ordered you a new wireless card. Might be no more to it than that.

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    Maybe they consider replacement of the wlan card to be the replacement of a PCI/ISA card (PCI OR ISA Card). – Everett Nov 22 '10 at 15:55

That would be a PCI-to-ISA bridge adapter. In all honesty, I don't know why a laptop would have one (I'd think all the internal hardware should be PCI or USB these days and laptops don't have expansion card slots to add a new ISA device in, even if you could find one still for sale), but lspci shows that the laptop I'm currently using has one:

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 5 Series Chipset LPC Interface Controller (rev 06)
  • As I said, this is a brand new Toshiba laptop... – BloodPhilia Nov 22 '10 at 11:02
  • Yes, and the laptop I'm using is a brand-new Thinkpad. Although ISA bridges don't make sense to me in modern laptops, they do have them. – Dave Sherohman Nov 22 '10 at 11:08
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    This is just an IC, not a card. – bitslave Nov 22 '10 at 12:37
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    The LPC bus (semi-serialized ISA) is used to attach a variety of legacy devices, as well as one reasonably new one. The new device is the Trusted Platform Module used by some enterprisy customers for encryption. The legacy devices include the BIOS, the floppy controller, along with PS2, Parallel, RS232, Joystick ports. The floppy controller and legacy port controllers are all integrated into a single chip called a SuperIO controller. – Dan is Fiddling by Firelight Jan 26 '11 at 15:09
  • @Dan: Thanks for the explanation of why ISA bridges are still around! – Dave Sherohman Jan 27 '11 at 8:26

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