Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to plug a 2.5" SATA HDD into a laptop with an internal IDE connector.

They could use this SATA-IDE adapter board pictured below.
The SATA HDD with the adapter won't fit into the bay, but let's say that's fine.
It's largely an aesthetic issue; it doesn't matter if there's an "extension" cable.

When using that SATA-IDE adapter attached to the HDD, they could attach a 2.5" cable F-F, then use a gender changer at the other end so it looks like the connector of an IDE hard drive. That 2.5" male end end of the cable could then be plugged into the laptop's IDE port

But I don't know whether such a cable that is 2.5" at both ends exists.

Or are there alternative ways of plugging a 2.5" SATA drive into a 2.5" IDE connector?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
I have an idea.. if you can't find a 2.5" IDE cable. I've no idea if this will work. But no harm in trying. Get 2* 2.5-3.5" adapter cables. Take the 3.5" female ends and connect them with a 3.5" male both sides gender changer. Then you will have built yourself a 2.5" cable! I'd say ignore the two molex connectors hanging off the cables. The laptop should send power down the 2.5" cable through pins 41-44 to your drive. Presumably the SATA-IDE adapter board takes power from the IDE end I guess that's how it works. That might work! – barlop Feb 20 '13 at 0:50
did you get to try this? I am interested as I have a similar situation with and old Gateway lappy. – Carl B May 19 '13 at 22:41
@CarlB i've tried SATA-3.5" IDE. But there are adapters for SATA-2.5"/44pin IDE… as for which way they go i'm not sure. Maybe no harm in trying a gender changer with it and seeing. But if you look at the pic I added with the SATA-3.5" IDE adapter, it has 2 SATA connectors to get 2 way. – barlop May 20 '13 at 8:33
@CarlB Somebody on tomshardware suggested this A tray that takes a sata drive and fits in the cd tray which is apparently PATA. – barlop May 20 '13 at 8:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here is a cable that would work. So if aesthetics are truly no big deal, here you go.

Added by barlop - This is 2.5" IDE both ends, despite the "Micro SATA Cables" brand name. And it has 2 reviews, both by people that know what they're talking about, both lowest rating, pointing out issues with it that they think are serious. One review mentions that the red painted side (denoting pin1) is on the wrong side (though i'd wonder how that makes a difference - and how one would determine what is the wrong side. Either side could be deemed pin1 and the painted strip ensures that it's not twisted). A criticism in a review is that pin 20 on it has not been removed so would have to be removed/bent, but that's doable , the procedure is " You clip the pin by using a small set of wire cutters or grabbing the pin with needle nose pliers and bend it back and forth until it breaks off preferably flush with the plastic so there is no way for it to make contact." as described in a post here +1 for the principle though!

The cable is this product on amazon Micro-SATA-Cables-44-Pin-Converter

You won't have to bother with further gender changers.


EDIT: by Carl B added information

There is a descriptive set up of pin 1 on the below diagram and a link to a potentialy better suited product here at 6" 44-Pin Female to Male IDE True Extension


•This Cable is used to extend 2.00mm, 44 pin Laptop Hard Drive cable

•(1) 44 Pin 2.5" IDE Female 2.0mm Laptop Connector

•(1) 44 Pin 2.5" IDE Male 2.0mm Laptop Connector

•Length: 6 inches

Note the interweave of the ribbon on the female end. So a stright cable like the first example may not be proper and thus the poor reviews and performance of the product to include incorrect pin 1 and pin 2 along with pins 43 and 44 orientation. This possibly cased the drive damage the reviewers were talking about.

Ribbon detail

Ribbon detail2

pin out

Edit: added pin out of 2.5 IDE ribbon (a google images classic) - original source apparently from

pinout of ide ribbon

share|improve this answer
+1 -- but the brand name "Micro-SATA" sure is confusing when combined with the connector description. "SATA" combined with "IDE" sounds like an oxymoron or a bogus adapter cable. – sawdust Feb 20 '13 at 8:42
I have verified on the picture that the cable is 2.5" IDE(44 pins or holes even on the female end). Good find. – barlop Feb 20 '13 at 10:54
@sawdust yeah though if there were a cable with SATA one end and IDE the other end, I wouldn't say it's bogus 'cos it could exist. – barlop Feb 20 '13 at 11:20
I got confused by the same thing. And the reviews seem quite bad too. – Journeyman Geek Feb 20 '13 at 11:33
@barlop - thanks for adding the edit and data. – Carl B Feb 20 '13 at 18:29

I haven't tried this much, but this might help. It's a SATA-IDE connector, but i think it goes 2 ways. SATA->IDE and IDE->SATA, I don't know if one ever needs a gender changer for this. The power connector on it is not to power the drive, it's to power the circuitry on the board.

You may need a 2.5"-3.5" cable WITH a gender changer, as 2.5-3.5" cables that i've seen are female both end and you need the end of the cable that goes into the laptop motherboard to be male. Also you'd be plugging the 3.5" end into an adapter and then from there using a sata cable to a hard drive. That is different to the normal usage where the 3.5" goes to a MBRD, and the 2.5" to a drive. In this context, I'm not sure if you also have to be careful with which side is pin1 and whether pin1 is pin1 on both ends. (A good technical review of a 2.5" both sides cable in the other answer suggests the red stripe denoting pin1 might only apply to one end, but i'm not sure if that particular point is correct).

enter image description here
This guy demonstrating one, is plugging it into a 3.5" drive. So i'd expect devices that look like that to be 3.5" IDE, but adapting between 2.5" to 3.5" is a common thing, though I haven't done it in this context.

and bear in mind you'd be going the other way completely, with the IDE side towards the motherboard, and with a SATA hard drive connected to this adapter with a SATA cable. (I only point to that picture to demonstrate that it's a 3.5" adapter and how it is powered and what the power is and isn't for)

enter image description here

Added enter image description here

added- any sata hdd or whatever hdd has to be powered itself e.g. from a computer's psu. the power supply going into the board just powers a chip on the board.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.