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In early 2010 my motherboard freaked out, and I was able to drop in a new board and connect my two DVD drives that were initially bought in 2005.

Tonight my new components arrived to build my next system, and I figured I'd just reuse the old DVD drives. Surprise, the long flat connector cable has no mate on the new motherboard. Reckon I'll just pick up a new DVD drive for $25, but what gives?

Thanks!

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SATA happened. We don't use Giant Connectors Of Doom anymore... If you're lucky, your MB came with USB 3.0 as well which means backing up to external USB 3.0 hard drives isn't so glacial as the old misery of USB 2.0. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 10 '12 at 22:27
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closed as too localized by techie007, Simon Sheehan, 8088, Renan, ChrisF Dec 27 '12 at 12:35

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1 Answer

Optical drive connectors have not changed in the last year, but they have changed in the last 8 years. It sounds like your old optical drives used a PATA (IDE) connector. IDE has been around since 1986 (according to Wikipedia). Most hard drives and optical drives use SATA now, which was invented in 2003.

IDE:

PATA

SATA:

SATA

The two interfaces are not compatible, so you will either have to get an IDE PCI card or else get new optical drives. Nothing's changed since last year, except that your new motherboard doesn't have an IDE port like your old one must have.

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The two interfaces are not compatible, but there are bridging adaptors which convert in one or other direction. They are mainly made for hard disks, so I don't know if they work for optical drives as well, but it might be worth a try... –  glglgl Dec 14 '11 at 8:18
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