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The PCMCIA controller is automatically detected during the installation, thus the cards should be automatically recognised and configured when they are inserted. Hearing two high-pitch beeps shortly after having inserted the card is a good sign; a high-pitch beep followed by a lower-pitch one means that the cards has not been successfully configured. Read the PCMCIA-HOWTO for the gory details.
If you decide to recompile the kernel, you can choose one of the following procedures:

Recompile the PCMCIA drivers
This is usually not necessary if you do not want to upgrade the kernel, but, if you really want, you have to install, together with the kernel source, the PCMCIA drivers sources.

Remove the PCMCIA and recompile the kernel
This is the safest way: remove the package, then recompile the kernel following the instructions of the manual, once you are done, install the new PCMCIA modules.

Forgot to remove the package?
If you have already recompiled the kernel and renamed the old modules - to be found in /lib/modules/ - you can either force remove (rpm will complain about not being able to find the modules.) the PCMCIA package and install it again or copy the pcmcia folder in the old modules folder to the new one. If you did not upgrade the kernel, both methods should work.

Check the file /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia which should look like this:
If you rebooted without PCMCIA modules, this file is saved with the name /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia.rpmsave.

Cards are detected and configured, if already inserted, during the bootstrap, as soon as the card manager daemon is started. Depending on your machine, the boot messages can scroll by so fast that you can hardly grasp some of them. All those messages are kept in /var/log/messages where they can be more easily read.

Alessandro Usseglio Viretta
Wed Feb 4 11:32:27 MET 1998