My girlfriend has an old laptop-drive she wants me to grab data from. I want to buy a usb-adapter for it, but I have no clue as to which kind of disk this is. There are no text printed on the drive except from "Made in China" and "F4".

The hard drive's size is 7 cm × 9,5 cm excluding the pins. It seems to be 24 columns of pins with 2 rows, (24 × 2 = 48) pins total. It is a small space between two columns of pins and the other 22 columns.

Unknown drive
(Click image to enlarge)

  • Its hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like this hard drive might be in an enclosure too. So the other answers aren't wrong but it may be easier to get at the hard drive without its enclosure. ...Or not perhaps too.
    – mkingsbu
    May 25, 2017 at 16:40
  • 11
    This is the miniaturized 2.5 inch or laptop version of PATA/IDE. It is electrically compatible with the 3.5 inch 40 pin version plus the separate power harness, but not mechanically compatible without an adapter. May 25, 2017 at 18:00
  • 10
    @mkingsbu Nah, that's bog-standard, non-enclosed 2.5" IDE. May 25, 2017 at 18:01
  • Oh I didn't realize it was that small. Hard to tell from the picture. That makes sense.
    – mkingsbu
    May 25, 2017 at 19:17
  • Any USB adapter with two IDE choices will work. You can still buy these as an SSD,
    – mckenzm
    May 28, 2017 at 3:51

2 Answers 2


That would be an IDE (PATA) drive. The pins to the side are for jumpers, not the cable:

Laptop IDE Diagram

(image from flylib.com)

Given how antique these are now, I suggest a USB to IDE and SATA 2.5" drive adapter as being of more use, and of similar cost, usually.

  • 1
    Hi! I already have a SATA 2.5" adapter bought here - but I could not get it to fit. Am I doing something wrong, or should I get a PATA adapter? (Is there a difference between PATA and SATA 2.5"?)
    – OleDid
    May 24, 2017 at 20:46
  • Yes, they are very different. The adapter I'm suggesting has (for the one I own) a PATA connector on one end of the board and a SATA connector on the other end of the board - depending which type of drive you are working on, you plug it into the one it fits in. A Serial ATA adapter will not work with a Parallel ATA drive.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 24, 2017 at 20:49
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    @OleDid -- The USB adapter that you already have should suffice; it has three disk interfaces, not just the SATA. If it didn't fit, then you're doing something wrong. The connector marked #3 in the photo should fit that 2.5" drive connector. Ecnerwal is giving you misleading advice.
    – sawdust
    May 24, 2017 at 23:32
  • 2
    Turns out I was doing something wrong. I tried again and it worked :) Problem solved!
    – OleDid
    May 27, 2017 at 23:04
  • Excellent result. Can you please post it as an answer explaining what you did?
    – SDsolar
    Jun 5, 2017 at 0:04

From the connector it's easy to see it's a PATA disk (as opposed to a SATA), which is supported by the fact that its from an old laptop. enter image description here

You can either connect a PATA-to-USB converter, or use a 2.5inch PATA to 3.5inch PATA adapter and hook it up to your desktop.

enter image description here

  • 12
    You do have to be careful of "old laptop SCSI drives" which are casually / visually similar to "old laptop PATA drives" but quite incompatible.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 24, 2017 at 21:01
  • 7
    Do note that any somewhat recent desktop PC will no longer have an IDE/PATA connection. My old Core 2 machine has one, but my i7 machine most definitely doesn't.
    – Baldrickk
    May 25, 2017 at 7:34
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    @Baldrickk I've specced and bought a couple of moderately high-end machines recently, and they do have PATA sockets. But we're speccing motherboards with a lot of PCI-E slots so maybe we're into "ship all the connectors" territory. Also PATA was used in mass-market desktops for optical drives even a couple of years ago. Even that wouldn't be much use if the OP doesn't have cable any more.
    – Chris H
    May 25, 2017 at 10:49
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    @ChrisH It's definitely a rare breed that still ships with PATA headers on the motherboard. I mean, I have a bunch of new high-end systems with Core-i chipsets that even have ISA slots, but it's definitely specialist territory for new builds with these dinosaur techs still intact.
    – J...
    May 25, 2017 at 11:46
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    @underscore_d Yes, they're useful - otherwise we wouldn't go to such lengths to get special industrial motherboards with them. For our devices, XP is end of the line for support so they'll be on the way out eventually but for now it all still works. Nothing too special with ISA - it's all still there (MMIO, DMA, IRQ... still at the bottom of bare metal even today).
    – J...
    May 25, 2017 at 18:34

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