I have a 4 bay hard drive enclosure made by Sans Digital (one of the TR4M series)... check that, I have 3 such enclosures and the power supply died on 2 of them. I called Sans Digital and asked about replacement parts, the price they gave me for their crap 150 Watt power supplies was, frankly, outrageous. I suggested other locations they could place said crap power supplies. I was, shall we say, creative.

So, I have an older ATX power supply from a prior computer. Nothing high end, labeled as 460 watts, one review stated it puts out 430 - still plenty for hard drives which pull a max of 30watts on spinup from what I understand.

I took a picture of the internals of the drive enclosure. Dead internal power supply is on the bottom. Entire Unit

And a closeup of the rear connections on the board: Ribbon cable on the left goes to the front LEDs, red cable connects to the eSATA connection in the back and there are two standard LP4s providing power on the right side. The red&black wires in the foreground power the fan. White/black and green(ground) are to the busted internal power supply. Closeup

The plan:

  1. Disconnect the LP4 Molex connections to the bad drive.
  2. Connect two LP4 Molex from the working power supply.
  3. Connect a ground wire from the drive enclosure case to the power supply case
  4. Short the green PS_ON# with the ground next to it - (i'll put in a switch later)
  5. Turn on the power supply.

Any problems with my plan? Feel free to let me have it... I know enough about power to get myself in trouble - but at least I'm aware of it :) thx.

PS. Assuming this can be made to work, any reason I shouldn't connect this to the second drive enclosure?

UPDATE: In case anyone finds this page with a similar issue. I ended up doing exactly as stated and have had no issues with the setup. It has been happily running for several months with zero issues. As I stated in response it is my understanding that a number of power supplies require a minimum load on 5V, but with hard drives this is not an issue since they pull both 12V and 5V.

  • Some older ATX supplies have a sizable minimum load, and may not place nice with your hard drives.
    – uint128_t
    Jan 14, 2016 at 2:45
  • You seem to have everything planned out correctly.
    – cde
    Jan 14, 2016 at 4:02
  • @uint128_t - I thought that min load was only on the 5v rail? Read a bit about people trying to use a power supply only for the 12v rail and running into issues because there was no 5v load. From my understanding hard drives pull 12v&5v for the spindle and electronics, respectively.
    – Tigeroo
    Jan 14, 2016 at 5:05

1 Answer 1


I did exactly that last week with a slightly used 330W power-supply and it worked just fine powering a single hard drive ([email protected] [email protected])

I think minimum load requirements are a thing of the past.

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