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I would like to connect my desktop HDD into my laptop. It does not need to fit inside, but it needs to be connected via SATA (meaning I do not want to connect a sata to USB adapter)

I have removed the laptop HDD and examined its connection, to my eyes its connection looks to be the same as desktop HDD connections.

Is there a chance that there was a small difference that I didn't see? Is there a chance that a desktop HDD tries to draw too much power from the laptop and burn something?

One last thing, replacing laptop dvd writers with ssd's is a popular practice. Is this done because these ssd's can not be connected to laptop hdd slot, or is this done so that you can have both hdd and ssd?

  • Assuming there's not enough power and it dosen't run, would adding another power supply be an option? Sound awfully rube goldburgian, and there's a few other possible issues - on a desktop system, your cable is female on both ends, while on a laptop the end on the motherboard is female so you can't just connect a normal sata cable to it. – Journeyman Geek Apr 3 '16 at 7:46
  • Does your laptop have an e-SATA port? Or are you talking about wiring a 3.5'' HDD to a laptop's internal bay? If the latter.... why...? – Raj Huff Apr 3 '16 at 9:18
  • I want to try something on a new windows installation and I dont want to mess with my actual hard disk. – grdgfgr Apr 3 '16 at 9:20
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Desktop SATA HDD operates on +12V whereas laptop SATA HDD on +5v. The +12V rail on SATA power connector in Laptop does not connect anywhere. It’s just there to maintain compatible SATA connection form factor and pin out. So if you can somehow plug the desktop HDD into the SATA data & power pins, as is on Laptop, it shall not power on.

SSD have same form factor and SATA data & power pin out, hence they can be seamlessly connected in place of laptop HDD in the slot. The reason HDD Caddy is used to replace DVD drive in Laptop is to make room for yet another 2.5” drives be it HDDs, SSDs or combination of the two

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    can I connect it desktop sata to desktop power supply and its information sata part into the laptop ? – grdgfgr Apr 3 '16 at 8:44
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If you have e-SATA it is preferable to use that over the internal wiring. Though no, you will not burn anything if you try, you will need to power your 3.5'' HDD externally as it requires more voltage (and probably wattage) than your [unknown model] notebook can supply. It is recommended to use an external power supply, like one that would come with a USB/SATA adapter, but in lieu of one you may use a desktop PSU, so long as you've signaled the on-state. The simplest setup would be the following: -laptop on top of desktop case> HDD plugged into laptop SATA and desktop PSU> turn desktop on to power HDD> turn laptop on.

While I recommend using an external adapter (or simply a different partition on your laptop hard disk for your test) with a lack of e-SATA, the above should yield the result you desire.

In response to your second question, it has been common practice in the past to remove the optical drive and replace it with a HDD while replacing the motherboard drive with an SSD because SSD space has been very very expensive/byte. Keeping both allowed for the fast boot and response times of the SSD paired with the data space of a traditional hard disk. 2.5'' SSDs have the same form factor as 2.5'' HDDs and so long as their thickness is compatible, work in nearly all situations. As the cost of SSDs is dropping, more and more manufacturers and consumers are leaving the optical drives alone and replacing the HDD with large capacity solid state drives.

  • I have opened an external harddrive, which revealed a 2.5" hdd inside. I was able to connect it into my laptop. I have a different question now. Would it be okay if I connected the sata to usb adapter to my actual laptop hdd and use that via usb? – grdgfgr Apr 3 '16 at 13:49
  • Yes that would be fine, for accessing files stored on the drive. While you can use the SATA to USB adapter on literally any SATA drive out there, some computers have problems with booting Windows from external drives. I have found a tutorial for you to install a bootable version of Windows to an external hard drive, but be forewarned that various issues can arise from running your main OS from a USB device. That said, in most cases once the install is complete it runs fine. intowindows.com/… – Raj Huff Apr 3 '16 at 15:01

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