My problem comes from that my laptop [PB TJ-75] has a faulty Alcor card reader. It’s 100% sure, the device is dead and unusable whatever the OS is. It cannot be disabled in BIOS [latest: Vendor: Phoenix Technologies LTD Version: V1.26 Release Date: 05/04/2010].

If I could take it apart from the main board easily, and if with that, the system would never look again for it, I’ll be very happy! Is it possible, has anyone ever tried this? Or maybe, replacing the BIOS with a more open one, which let you disable the card reader. Does this exists?

Here's what I've tried to disable it so far.

In Win7, I choose ‘disable’ in device manager and that’s ok. If not, the device keeps on appearing and disappearing and lot of resources are used.

In Lubuntu 13.04, I got extra boot time, with the msg:'sdb, assuming drive cache, etc.’ And once logged in, there's no trace of sdb. I tried other distros (isos booted by grub).

I can boot Puppy, Gparted, and Redobackup apparently without any problem.

I cannot boot Debian, live or install + tried Crunchbang and Tails. I got a loop :’usb device, scsi n+1 blabla‘.

I tried "nousb", no result, I have blacklisted EHCI, no result, then usb_storage module, better boot time in Lubuntu, with just the message "...data transfer failed", better shutdown time too. But, no way to use usb storage medias. In Debian, it ends with BusyBox prompt.

Is it possible to just disable that Alcor card reader? Does it have a specific module? Is there a special kernel boot option that I missed? Does it have something to do with kernel recompiling, and if yes, how to do with isos? Programming a driver which says everything is ok (out of my comprehension for the moment)? Disabling device by vendor id? What is the best way?

  1. Check kernel modules lsmod

    ~# lsmod

    and remove this module with rmmod

    ~# rmmod YOUR_CARD_MODULE


  2. If card reader support built in kernel, you can disable it there and recompile it (not working for ISOs).

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  • I blacklisted the keucr module (the only one which seems to be related to card reader), no changes. I'm going to look at kernel recompiling. So, if it is the only way, I won't have any chance to boot Debian-based distributions? – Gab Jun 28 '13 at 6:26
  • I can't find any revelant option in kernel recompilation. Did I missed something? Next step if no software solution: remove integrated card reader from mainboard... But I'm affraid to destroy it that way. And, if it is successfully removed, how can I be sure that the system won't reclaim it? – Gab Jul 8 '13 at 12:24

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