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I need to install this hard drive "WD800JD-60JRC0". It is Serial ATA. But what really confuses me is that it has molex connector. I think I can plug what I want: SATA power cable or Molex. But which one is better?

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7  
Just don't plug in both. – MSalters Jan 13 '12 at 15:02
    
@MSalters I found that out the hard way on my first WD sata drive when they first came out, ouch! – Moab Jan 13 '12 at 16:42
    
@Moab What happened? I wouldn't've thought anything would since you'd have the same voltages coming in over both cables. – Dan Neely Jan 14 '12 at 22:03
    
@Dan Neely, I had to rma the drive, it killed it. After reading the instructions is clearly stated not to do this :-> – Moab Jan 14 '12 at 23:14
    
@Moab: Another risk is that your PSU has two separate 12V output rails, which you might cross-connect via the harddisk. It's not designed to handle those currents. – MSalters Jan 16 '12 at 9:13
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Older drives, especially during the transition between SATA and PATA had both connectors - that meant you could use a non sata PSU with a sata motherboard (or a non sata motherboard with a sata card). Use either one - the 3.5 v connector in sata is the only major difference electrically, and this isn't used in that drive.

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AFAIK even on current generation SATA drives the 3.3V line is normally unused since the retail boxed versions of the drives typically still come with a molex-sata power adapter cable. – Dan Neely Jan 13 '12 at 15:53
    
Thats true - though i admit that most drives i buy are simply wrapped in anti static bags, and never come with one of those. I assumed that by now, that sata capable PSUs would be common enough that that connector would be used. – Journeyman Geek Jan 13 '12 at 22:52
    
The Samsung 830 SSD I bought a week ago came with the adapter cable; and if any drive category was going to be the first to drop it... I suspect it comes down to drive electronics running on lower voltages anyway, and it just being simpler to run the +5/12v line into the DC Power converter. – Dan Neely Jan 14 '12 at 22:02

Either cable will work. It will simply depend what you have available.

Both Molex and SATA power cables will work. The basic difference between the two is the Connector Type - Molex is more generic and found on lower end PSU's, it is also a bulkier connector type.

Molex vs SATA connectors

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They both supply the power the drive needs; neither will do anything more than the other.

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The SATA power cable is hot-pluggable, however. Molex is not. – LawrenceC Jul 24 '12 at 0:00

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