Trying to put a SATA 3.0Gb/s hard drive into my ATA-6 notebook

By teddybeardj ยท 13 replies
Apr 4, 2008
  1. Hello. I have a Dell Inspiron 5160, which has a 100GB hard drive, interface type ATA-6. I have 5GB left, so I figured more storage was needed. I purchased a Seagate Momentus 5400.4 250GB hard drive, model ST9250827AS. Here is the problem. I included the model number in case I write the following wrong, the whole problem is in the look of the pins.

    I went to install it and saw very quickly the interface pins are very different. On the notebook computer the interface has 42 straight pins, not including the jumpers. On the new hard drive, I can't even count pins because it is a different interface completely. There is a break in the its hard to describe, but I would say there are two banks of pins. One bank has 15 pins of different lengths and the other bank has 7 pins, also of different lengths. The jumpers seem to be in the same place though..

    Has notebook hard drives changed since I bought it in 2004? Is there an adapter that I can get? If so, where could I get one and what would it be called?
    HELP :(

    Thank you for your help.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Yes, mainstream HDD interfaces have shifted away from parallel to serial. I'm not aware of an internal adapter for your situation, however, if you're willing to use the new HDD as an external drive, buy an enclosure that has SATA to USB support.

    Here is one for reference:
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The new ATA harddrive does not come with the end connector (presently on your original drive)
    You need to either purchase another end connector, or remove the original one (i Use a small flat screwdriver)

    I couldn't find a quick pic on the net (actually didn't search much) but again it's the narrow block at the end of the original HardDrive
  4. teddybeardj

    teddybeardj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I looked at it and thought, if I could just pull the pins off both of them and swap it, it would work. Now seeing you say something about small flat screwdriver....tell me more. Are you saying I can take off the pins?
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    I still haven't got a pic !
  6. teddybeardj

    teddybeardj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Pic of what?? You want me to try to get a picture of the two drives for comparison or do you already have my problem solved?

    How would you go about removing the pins? Aren't they soldered to the drive assembly?
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Have you considered returning the SATA hard drive and getting a compatible ATA one?
  8. teddybeardj

    teddybeardj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah I did... However the Ebay'er that sold it to me, might not be so understanding of my blunder. Thank you for your suggestion though.
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Pfft, get out of here with your fancy school-boy logic :D!

    That's probably your best bet, teddybeardj. Personally, I'd rather return the drive or buy an enclosure than start popping pins off my HDD. Your money, and your call :).

    Best of luck :grinthumb.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  11. teddybeardj

    teddybeardj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The picture shows the adapter I already have for the notebook, however it will not fit on this new hard drive because the pins already on it are different. There is only one level of pins, not the two rows of pins that the 42 pin has. I've been trying to get picture of it as well.

    I found pictures of what I am looking for.
    This picture is a hard drive just like what I have...42 pins in two rows..

    Here is a picture of what I is very much different. The picture you showed me would not work on this drive.

    Now is a hard drive enclosure really the only way to solve it, or is there another adapter that would work to install it on the notebook?
  12. teddybeardj

    teddybeardj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Gotcha. OK...enclosure it is. I was trying to avoid having to do when I am out and about, its two ac plugs instead of one.
    Maybe I'll just resell it on ebay, listing how stupid I was to get it in the first place.
    Thanks for your help anyway..
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    If someone hasn't mentioned it yet or wasn't very clear about it (I skimmed through...), your laptop has an IDE interface. The new drive has SATA. They will be no way to get a SATA drive to work with your IDE interface. You will need to get an IDE 2.5" drive.
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Good point !

    We all worked that out though
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