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Can you help me identify this hard drive connector? I need to mount a laptop drive onto a desktop, but I am not familiar with this laptop hard drive's physical connector.

A photo of the connector is here at this link.

The drive is from a Panasonic CF-18, and the specifications are in this pdf from Panasonic. Unfortunately the Panasonic specs are not specific about the hard drive.

I just need some key words to get started in the right direction - is it a form of IDE drive, and if so what is it called?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

To me, that looks like a standard laptop optical port.

It looks like they are using a big chunky enclosure around a standard hard drive just to add sturdiness to the drive / so there is less chance of it coming loose if it is dropped.

From your picture, I would guess that if you undo the screws (below), and pull that board off (gently), you will have a very normal SATA interface, or at the very worse, a Micro Sata interface (or if the laptop is old, an IDE one) and may need to buy an adapter.

enter image description here

Whilst not the same, I would say it is just a mobile version of something like this:

enter image description here

I am not sure the "real" name, but, if anyone would ask me, I would call it an "in-line hard drive converter".

Many laptops out there have similar "go-betweens", the most common I see are Sony laptops with custom mounts over optical drives. Again, it is just a few screws and you can remove the mountings.

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Exactly what I was going to say, it looks to me to be a shock-mounting assembly with a simple connector converter, especially as you can just about see the brown ribbon cable as it goes into the enclosure. – Mokubai Aug 30 '11 at 13:20 and… confirm wil's answer - its a standard drive in a fancy quick release caddy – Journeyman Geek Aug 30 '11 at 13:21
yep, that was it. Underneath all that was a standard 40-pin IDE drive. I had someone take the picture off-site, so I had no way of knowing what was underneath before I went on site. Thanks! – steampowered Sep 16 '11 at 20:51

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