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Is it possible for a Thermaltake BlacX HDD Dock to connect to and recognize an ATA-100 Hard Drive? I know that the specifications for the BlacX say that it only supports SATA & SATAII, but I was hoping for one of three things:

1) for it to still work even though it isn't supported
2) for there to be some sort of workaround to make this possible
3) for there to be another part of some sort that I could purchase to make this work

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I guess you could try to find a SATA-ATA adapter (like this), but SATA and ATA use completely different connections for data and for power (see the pictures in the links).

I doubt the SATA-ATA adapter would work very well in the dock, I'm not sure how you would attach it. The other option would be to get a dock that worked with and ATA (IDE) drive.

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3) for there to be another part of some sort that I could purchase to make this work

You could get an IDE -> usb bridge of the right size. 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch drives have different physical connections

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I have the BlacX and it works well but does not support ATA/IDE. I would suggest this: Found one at my local Fry's about a year ago for $22. This thing is great for accessing SATA or IDE drives and likely not to far in price from what you would pay by figuring out some kind of cable/adapter work around. The BlacX is good for day to day use and the Apricorn drive is good for those few times you need to get into a old drive. I have used the Apricorn on 2.5 and 3.5 IDE, 2.5 SATA. It comes with some imaging software that is to say the least unimpressive.

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Update: Another Possible Approach

I still do not know of any way to use a PATA drive with a SATA host other than to use a PATA to SATA converter/adapter of some kind. However, I recently came across this front panel product which allows connecting an external PATA drive to a SATA host. VIZO Master Panel 5.25" front panel, MTP-101
VIZO Master Panel 5.25" front panel, MTP-101

The controller obviously contains a PATA to SATA adapter chipset. What makes it (possibly) more useful than your typical converter dongle is the power switch. Supposedly you can

  1. Power off the front panel.
  2. Connect a PATA drive to the panel using a PATA cable and a 15 pin SATA to 4 pin molex power adapter cable.
  3. Power on the front panel. At this point the PATA drive should power up and be recognized on the SATA port of the host computer connected to the panel.

This strikes me as a possibly useful tool so I'm throwing it out now as a FWIW suggestion.

Unfortunately, this is still not a solution to the original question. But I believe that the only way a PATA drive could be connected via a Thermaltake BlacX ... or one of the many clones now available ... is going to involve enough converter cables and adapter dongles to make even Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg cringe.

While this front panel may not be an ideal approach, if it works it would IMO be a lot cleaner than trying to cobble something together to exploit an eSATA dock.

End Of Update

You don't make it clear whether your Thermaltake BlacX supports eSATA or not. So I'm not sure whether you are looking for a way to connect a PATA drive via USB or eSATA. Either way, buying another adapter seems like the way you would have to go. It probably makes more sense to focus on what I assume is your main goal: to connect an external PATA drive.

Before going further I want to warn that I will include some links to really low-cost, Chinese sourced sites in this answer. There are a lot of these on the web and the ones I've picked aren't necessarily any better than any other. You pays ya's money and ya's takes ur's chances. Make your own call.

If you're going USB the "2.5" or 3.5" SATA or PATA" adapter suggested by Jeff Reser is a reasonable approach. You can pay less though. Meritline has this (and other options). But there is a lot of stuff out there as I think this link shows.

If you want to connect a PATA drive via eSATA the only way I can think of is to use a PATA -> SATA adapter as shf301 suggested. (A cheaper possiblity). Unfortunately, these adapters all use standard SATA connectors, not eSATA. One possible approach would be to use a SATA to eSATA cable (example). I'm not sure how you would power the adapter though.

If you really still want to try to kludge things through your BlacX, I suppose you might be able to do it with converter cable like this.

Hope this helps. If not, I suggest you add a comment to your question to clarify what it is you are trying to do and what sort of answers you are hoping for.

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