Can I connect a laptop SATA hard disk to Desktop PC? Do I have to use some adapters or I can just plug in SATA power connector and SATA data cable like my Desktop hard disk is connected?

I noticed that both laptop and desktop SATA disks use same connectors, but I'm afraid that I might fry my laptop hard disk because the SATA connector has both 12V and 5V voltage (given the fact that laptop hard disks has input voltage of 5V)

I bought a all-in-one Modex-to-SATA power adapter and SATA cable and I still don't know what to do.

I have read various forums and a lot of people are stating that it's perfectly ok, but some are scaring me that by connecting it so, it fried their hard disk. And some also mentioned cutting the yellow 12V wire if I'm planning to use Modex-to-SATA power.

Thanks in advance

  • 5
    Cutting power wires in a computer is a BAD IDEA™
    – Chris S
    Dec 28, 2010 at 13:48

6 Answers 6


According to the standard, SATA data/power connectors are universal and there is no risk of damage if you connect a 2,5" disk to a desktop system. I have done so countless times and never had a problem. I guess if people had problems, they might have had other issues with their setup.

  • 3
    Yes I have thought of that too, but still bothers me that 5V/12V thing. How does the laptop disk "ignores" those 12V?
    – Lawliet
    Dec 28, 2010 at 11:44
  • 9
    @Lawliet: It 'ignores' the 12V because it's on a different pin that isn't connected to anything on the drive.
    – user35787
    Dec 28, 2010 at 13:25

You can connect 2,5" laptop-Sata-HDDs without any risk directly into your desktop-PC - no need for any workaround using USB which will slow down the transfer.

SATA is SATA and all SATAs are compatible (at least for now - though i doubt they'll change that...)

In fact, some servers use 2,5" drives to save space...


  • 1
    2.5" server drives are often SAS, and moreover thicker than SATAs.
    – petrus
    Dec 28, 2010 at 12:12
  • In addition to most 2.5" server drives being SAS, they're smaller because they perform better; the space savings is ancillary.
    – Chris S
    Dec 28, 2010 at 13:47

I recommend to use a USB external adapter for 2.5 HD.

But you can contact the HD manufacturer and ask to them, don't just take the risk yourself.

  • 3
    Why use USB? That's stupid. Dec 28, 2010 at 11:29
  • 1
    @iconiK: Why is it stupid? USB is a valid way to connect the drive to a desktop PC. Maybe it's not the way you would do it, but it's not stupid. Also, calling someone's answer stupid is not the way to ingratiate yourself to the members here.
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 28, 2010 at 12:43
  • @joeqwerty: thx a lot, iconiK it's right for the performance loss, but I've advised it to avoid any hw failure, the answer of SwenW seems anyway the good one :-)
    – tmow
    Dec 28, 2010 at 12:55
  • 1
    @joeqwerty, it's stupid as you lose a lot of the transfer speed the drive can do for no good reason; even with USB 3 there is 10% or more loss. USB is stupid for a hard-drive, especially when there's a perfectly good SATA port available. Dec 28, 2010 at 13:30
  • 2
    @Lawliet, how is it safer? SATA is standardized, including the data and power connectors, there is no danger involved even with 1.8" drives in a desktop (though the connectors are slimmer on these and you need an adapter). Dec 28, 2010 at 13:31

If this is a temporary need, I'd recommend an external USB drive adapter.

Something like this universal drive adapter would work well.


If you are trying to connect your laptop HDD to your PC permanently, then you should probably connect it directly the same way as you connect your desktop HDD. No need to cut any wires.

I've tried this and it works just fine.


UPDATE: Thank you for your answers folks.

Anyway, I decided I just remove the yellow wire from the Modex-to-SATA cable and connect the hard disk to my PC. I closed my eyes as I pressed the button. Works like a charm. I am transferring data now. Lot and lot faster than via Ethernet

Best regards

  • 5
    You don't need to remove the yellow wire, if a drive doesn't need 12V it won't have the 12V line connected to anything. Dec 28, 2010 at 13:33
  • 5
    Cutting wires in computer is a BAD IDEA™! It was made with the wire because it works that way; you're taking a serious risk of destroying something by changing how it is supposed to work.
    – Chris S
    Dec 28, 2010 at 13:45
  • 7
    So you ignored the answers of people who obviously know what they're talking about and reduced the functionality of your device? Way to go!
    – Joe Taylor
    Mar 9, 2012 at 10:36

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