Question Laptop, USB/SATA cable, disk drive: troubleshooting

jhsachs

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Apr 10, 2009
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Tonight I tried to connect a SATA III hard disk to my laptop using a USB-to-SATA cable. The cable has a light on the SATA end which (I assume) indicates power is available. The light went on. The disk did not.

I moved the USB end to a different USB port. Same result. I moved it to a different computer. Same result. I attached it to a different disk drive. Same result.

I attached an external disk drive to one of the USB ports I tried to use on the first computer. It spun right up. No need to try it on the second computer; I use it to back that one up at least once a week.

The cable has been sitting untouched in a drawer since I last used it, two or three years ago. Both disk drives have been sitting untouched in a drawer since I last powered them up, a few months ago.

It's possible that the cable went bad sitting in the drawer, or that both disk drives died there. I've never known my drawers to be such deadly places, though, so I think both things are unlikely. What else could be wrong?
 
Last edited:

R_1

Splendid
Herald
3.5 inch drives need aux power to function, only 2.5 inch laptop drives and SSD's can be bus powered by USB at 5V.
larger drives need 12V.
if the drive is 3.5inches the behavior you describe will happen. the 5V bus is powering the adapter but the drive is failing to get enough power.
 

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