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I just bought a hard drive caddy for my Dell XPS 15" (L501X) laptop, but I just broke a pin on my hard drive when trying to install it in the caddy.

Pictured here is my HDD and the pin that broke off next to it. Will the HDD still work without that pin or is it needed (I'm guessing it's needed but I might as well ask)? If so, how can I fix it easily?

I'm also wondering what the pins on the right side of the picture are for, as my caddy doesn't have a port for those oddly enough.


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what i want to know is how you managed to break that off ?! – Sirex Jul 25 '12 at 23:48
When I pulled out the drive from my laptop, the pin bent somehow... Then when I went to put it in my new HDD caddy, it broke cause it was bent a little. I thought it would still fit in anyways, but apparently it didn't. – MaxGhost Jul 26 '12 at 1:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The broad connector on the left is the power supply for the drive, the small connector with the broken pin is for the data. According to Wikipedia those pins have the following functions:

1   1st     Ground
2   2nd     A+ (Transmit)
3   2nd     A- (Transmit)
4   1st     Ground
5   2nd     B- (Receive)
6   2nd     B+ (Receive)
7   1st     Ground

From the picture I am not sure if it is pin 1 or pin 7 which broke off, but both are ground. So it actually still might work. (A broken pin 2,3,5 or 6 would have guaranteed that it no longer worked).

Not really the "Heck yes, it will still work" you might have hoped for.

As to the pins on side: That is a jumper block. What they do differs per drive, but usually it adds functionality such as "limit drive to SATAQ 1.5Gb sec", "do not spin up until given the start command" or "wait 5 seconds after power up before starting to spin up". These should be mentioned in the manual for the drive and on the manufacturers site.

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The long ones are ground, so that they connect first. – zebediah49 Jul 25 '12 at 23:13
Nods. But are all three of them connected to the same power plane? I am an IT guy, not an electrician. I do not feel secure enough with that to assume they are. Even though I can not think of any reason why pins 1, 4 and 7 would not be connected. – Hennes Jul 25 '12 at 23:23
Thanks for the info. I was able to just put the pin back into it's little slot thing, and it seems tight enough to not pop back out, but I don't know if it's actually making a proper connection. – MaxGhost Jul 26 '12 at 1:11
Good news! It works fine! Thanks for the info, my little project of swapping to an SSD and adding a second hard drive to my laptop has taught me so much through answers like yours and by doing it myself. – MaxGhost Jul 26 '12 at 1:37

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