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Fixing the HP iPAQ H3955 SD Card Slot

So I have been using my Compaq iPAQ H3955 on a daily basis. And you know the kind of abuse a tool gets when it goes through daily use. Just a few days ago, I broke the SD Card slot on the PDA. You probably wonder how anyone can break the SD Card slot. I broke by inserting the SD Card backward. "What!?", you say? The slot should have prevented me from doing that. My thought exactly, but not the HP/Compaq iPAQ H3955. It turned out that the SD Card slot on this PDA is very flimsy. It's apparent once the case is taken apart. The SD Card slot stopped reading my SD Cards. Now, it's time to pull out all my tools and fix it. This article will document that process.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 10 Nov 2005 00:54:53 -0800

How did you fix the broken sd slot, my daughter did the same thing and now it does not reconize the sd

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 10:58:07 -0700

Looks like I forgot to post the article. I'm gonna have to dig up the photos and post the write-up.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 05 Apr 2007 16:41:52 -0700

When I insert a card into the SD Card slot, Pocket PC 2002 gives me a Storage Card Warning that says:

"Would you like the system to format the Storage Card folder so that the system can use it?

"WARNING: If you select Yes, any files in the Storage Card folder will be erased!"

The SD Card slot is already broken, so even when I pressed "Yes", it couldn't format my card.

Attached Image:

Storage Card Warning.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Apr 2007 20:58:06 -0700

To take apart the iPAQ H3955, you'll have to remove four screws from the back. They are Torx screws, so you'll need a set of six-point star-shaped screwdriver (see photo below). The size is T7. One of the screw is under a sticker that says "VOID".

Attached Image:

Star Shaped Screwdriver T7.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Apr 2007 20:48:43 -0700

You'll have to remove the stylus before attempting to open the PDA. After removing all of the screws from the back, carefully split the metal casing apart. But do not pull them fully apart. The two halves are connected by signal wires (see photo below).

Attached Image:

Internal Ribbon Cable.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Apr 2007 20:50:19 -0700

Looking at the card slot from the inside, it's obvious that a pin was bent (see photo below) when I inserted the SD Card the wrong way.

When I tried to bend the pin back, it snapped off.

Attached Image:

Bent Pin.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Apr 2007 20:53:14 -0700

The only thing left to do is to jury-rig it by forming a new pin with some solder. The following photo shows the finished product.

It works most of the time, but sometimes the contact doesn't touch. I added some foam padding to the solder for backing. It worked better, but not perfect.

Attached Image:

Solder Smoothed Off as a New Contact Pin.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Apr 2007 20:55:24 -0700

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