[SOLVED] Mount physical switch to Molex-SATA adapter

Mar 24, 2019
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Hey Guys,

Since I have MacOS and Windows 10 installed on my PC I often have to switch my boot-order in order to choose my operating system. So I was wondering if I could wire an on-on or on-off-on switch to my molex adapters so i easily choose from wich drive I want to boot from. I have done a lot of research and tested some things on my PC.

1. It changes the Boot priority, when one drive doesn’t have power
- so I need to use an on-on switch because the other one has be switched off.
2. SSDs (both drives are 2,5 inch SSDs) use 5v and (to my understanding not the 12v cable on the adapter) - so I could just connect the switch to the 5v wire on the adapter? Am I right? PLEASE correct me if I am wrong!!!

Do you all think this works?

P.S.: I know that there is a higher chance for your pc to catch fire when you are using Molex Adapters because they are often made cheaply. But I found out that there isa slightly different building technique which is more expensive but safe.

I am aware that my english isn’t the best if something is unclear feel free to ask
 

13thmonkey

Titan
Moderator
Something like this may be better for you: https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=141

Ignore the hot swap-ability nature of it, but it has power buttons for each drive, I had one years ago where you could lock it with the key such that in effect you turned it off. Have a hunt around for precisely how these work (icy dock may have a chat feature, or facebook?) and you'll be using something built for the job.
 
Reactions: NPreuler1312
Mar 24, 2019
41
2
35
0
Something like this may be better for you: https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=141

Ignore the hot swap-ability nature of it, but it has power buttons for each drive, I had one years ago where you could lock it with the key such that in effect you turned it off. Have a hunt around for precisely how these work (icy dock may have a chat feature, or facebook?) and you'll be using something built for the job.
Thanks a lot but my Pc doesn’t have a slot for a cd drive.
I also want to learn something from that project.

But do you think my idea might work? In the end I am the one does the job so the blame is on me ;)
 

13thmonkey

Titan
Moderator
So in theory, yes it could work.

One thing I'd be concerned about is the 'cleanliness' of the switching, if the switch 'bounces' could the on-off-on in rapid sequence do something to the drive (low risk at 5V, but these are sensitive devices)? Would you only be switching whilst it was off (sounds like it). Would you only need one or the other in which case you could switch between them like with a 2 pole switch.
 
Reactions: NPreuler1312
Mar 24, 2019
41
2
35
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So in theory, yes it could work.

One thing I'd be concerned about is the 'cleanliness' of the switching, if the switch 'bounces' could the on-off-on in rapid sequence do something to the drive (low risk at 5V, but these are sensitive devices)? Would you only be switching whilst it was off (sounds like it). Would you only need one or the other in which case you could switch between them like with a 2 pole switch.
What do mean „2 pole switch“? A switch which can either be on or off? Cause I can’t find any settings in my Gigabytes z370p d3 bios which determines if it changes the boot priority if one drive failed (is powered off by the switch) but maybe I should look again when I get back home.
Yes I will only use it when the pc is powered off (and probably wait 10 seconds just to be safe) and I will install a plastic cover for the switch so i won’t toggle it accidentally
 
Mar 24, 2019
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So a single pole switch is on or off, like a light switch, a two pole switch would light one light or another, used in upstairs downstairs switching. So changing the switch position changes which one is powered, it doesn't just turn one off.
Oh....okay
That’s what I meant with an on-on switch
Sorry because of the communication issues because english isn’t my mother tongue.
I haven’t really decided what exact switch to go with.
In therms of how much power the switch can withstand I won’t run into any problems since SSDs don’t need much power...am I right?
 
Mar 24, 2019
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2 amps @ 5V should cover you.
That’s awesome.
Thanks a lot for your help.
Is there anything I can upvote so your rank gets higher?
I just looked for some switches but I can’t find one with 4 prongs (or connectors). But I guess I will find one...or will one with 3 prongs work too since both run on 5v?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You can use a simple automobile Single pole double throw (SPDT) switch. That's a switch that has a single common input in the center and either side is output. (I-I-I). Having a standard molex splitter repinned for the correct voltage with that switch inline between both will solve the problem. Only one will get power at any time. Having separate switches could mean either both are powered, only one is powered or neither gets powered.

With bios, doesn't matter which is set as priority, bios will only discover whichever has power.

It's just a switch, but you could go all out with fancy relays, convert your existing reset button to switch sources etc, only your imagination and ability is limiting your options. Being SSDs, you may run into issues though, they use Sata connectors, not molex, so you'll have Sata to molex x2 and a molex splitter just to make this switch idea work.

Ppl have been using dual boot options for years, on boot the pc should ask you which you want to use as long as both drives are recognised as boot drives. Bios discovers this on POST, so should have nothing to do with boot order. You may have a bios switch to enable dual boot options, not sure, some do some don't and automatically ask.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: NPreuler1312
Mar 24, 2019
41
2
35
0
You can use a simple automobile Single pole double throw (SPDT) switch. That's a switch that has a single common input in the center and either side is output. (I-I-I). Having a standard molex splitter repinned for the correct voltage with that switch inline between both will solve the problem. Only one will get power at any time. Having separate switches could mean either both are powered, only one is powered or neither gets powered.

With bios, doesn't matter which is set as priority, bios will only discover whichever has power.

It's just a switch, but you could go all out with fancy relays, convert your existing reset button to switch sources etc, only your imagination and ability is limiting your options. Being SSDs, you may run into issues though, they use Sata connectors, not molex, so you'll have Sata to molex x2 and a molex splitter just to make this switch idea work.

Ppl have been using dual boot options for years, on boot the pc should ask you which you want to use as long as both drives are recognised as boot drives. Bios discovers this on POST, so should have nothing to do with boot order. You may have a bios switch to enable dual boot options, not sure, some do some don't and automatically ask.
Right now I have a single Molex to sata power Adapter. Could I buy a second one, cut the 5v line (because SSDs run on 5v) and tape it off (or remove the whole pin from the adapter) on the Molex side. Cut the 5v line on the other adapter connect the 5v line on the Molex side to the center prong (or connection (I don’t know the exact english wording regarding this topic)) of the SPDT Switch. And after that’s done i would only have to connect one side of the switch to one of the cut open adapters on the sata side and the other prong of the SPDT switch to the other cut-Open adapter on the sata side. Am I right?

I don’t want to use my reset button because an external switch on my desk would look way more awesome ;)

And since SSD do not draw a lot of power it SEEMS to me that a SPDT relaiy would be unnecessary. Or do they have any advantage over a SPDT switch except that you can use a lower power circuit to open and close a higher power circuit? (As you probably have already realized, I am not a professional at this topic but that’s why I am here)
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Relays are either normally open or normally closed. But they can move power from one circuit to another. Hooked up right, you'd have 1 ssd permantly attached as a default drive, push a momentary switch, which opens a relay, halting power to ssd1 and closes another relay sending power to ssd2 etc. It's really just an over exaggerated version of you manually flipping a switch.

Picture this. From psu to Sata-molex. Plug in the molex splitter. Normally this would shunt power to 2 components. What you do is get the Red 5v wire going to both components and cut it in the middle of the length. This leaves 4 Red ends, 2 with power and 2 going to SSDs. Put female spade connectors on the ssd sides and they plug to the outside prongs of the switch. Cut off 1 of the powered red wires at the connector/pin in the splitter side. Female spade the remaining red wire. That goes to the center prong of the switch. This provides power into the switch and the outputs go to either of the 2 molex. The grounds (2x black) go straight through from psu-ssd, as do the 12v. At either end of the splitter you'd need 2 more reverse Sata-molex to convert back to Sata to plug into the SSDs.

It's a straight up thing, just bulky in wire lengths etc, and does exactly what the first poster's icydock does, but gives you a single left-right switch with internal wiring instead of an external box.
 
Mar 24, 2019
41
2
35
0
Relays are either normally open or normally closed. But they can move power from one circuit to another. Hooked up right, you'd have 1 ssd permantly attached as a default drive, push a momentary switch, which opens a relay, halting power to ssd1 and closes another relay sending power to ssd2 etc. It's really just an over exaggerated version of you manually flipping a switch.

Picture this. From psu to Sata-molex. Plug in the molex splitter. Normally this would shunt power to 2 components. What you do is get the Red 5v wire going to both components and cut it in the middle of the length. This leaves 4 Red ends, 2 with power and 2 going to SSDs. Put female spade connectors on the ssd sides and they plug to the outside prongs of the switch. Cut off 1 of the powered red wires at the connector/pin in the splitter side. Female spade the remaining red wire. That goes to the center prong of the switch. This provides power into the switch and the outputs go to either of the 2 molex. The grounds (2x black) go straight through from psu-ssd, as do the 12v. At either end of the splitter you'd need 2 more reverse Sata-molex to convert back to Sata to plug into the SSDs.

It's a straight up thing, just bulky in wire lengths etc, and does exactly what the first poster's icydock does, but gives you a single left-right switch with internal wiring instead of an external box.
You said I need 2 more reverse Sata-molex to convert back to Sata to plug into the SSDs. I am very sorry but i cannot figure out what you mean by that. Is buying 2 molex to sata converters and rewiring them not enough?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Missed that part, sorry, yes, you just need the 2 molex-Sata adapters to go from molex powered splitter to Sata connector at the ssd. You modify the splitter, not the adapters. They plug into the splitter ends after the switch.


You can make the 3 5v wires as long as you need to go all the way up to the desk for that switch. Personally it might be better to take all 3 wires to a plug in the back of the pc, and use that to go to the switch so the pc can be unplugged from the switch if you need to move it.
 
Last edited:
Mar 24, 2019
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Missed that part, sorry, yes, you just need the 2 molex-Sata adapters to go from molex powered splitter to Sata connector at the ssd. You modify the splitter, not the adapters. They plug into the splitter ends after the switch.


You can make the 3 5v wires as long as you need to go all the way up to the desk for that switch. Personally it might be better to take all 3 wires to a plug in the back of the pc, and use that to go to the switch so the pc can be unplugged from the switch if you need to move it.
Omg you ARE the best. <3
Thanks for the detailed drawing.
(I made a new account to tank you because my old somehow got banned)
 

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