I have a Western Digital My Passport 500Gb external Harddrive where the USB connection on the drive seems to have worn out. I am trying to retrieve the data for a friend.

Here is an image of the cable ends. The connection on the left is the issue. enter image description here

I have taken the drive out of the cover and I notice there is another set of pins.

Do you know what this connection is and if it can be used as an alternate means to connect the device to a PC? See the exposed 12 pins below. enter image description here

I am considering getting another cable as it is difficult to tell if the cable or the drive connection or both are worn out.. My question is about the other pins and alternate means of accessing the drive.

I am open to connecting it a PC or as a secondary drive on my laptop which supports two harddrive bays and is sata.

Here are the drive identification numbers.

Product Number: WDBAAA5000ASL  
Serial Number: WX20A99W3466  

External link to drive support page on Western Digital

enter image description here

thank you.

3 Answers 3


Its very complicated. Check this out. I don't know why you'd want to go through all the trouble though...


The USB cable looks like a standard mini-USB or micro-USB cable. If you have another USB device with a matching cable you can try it, otherwise you could buy a replacement cable to see if it works.

The label on the hard drive claims it's a SATA drive, but the connectors on the drive do not look like standard SATA connectors. The link posted by @wizlog discusses how you might build a custom cable to connect this drive to a standard SATA interface. Looks like a lot of work, and risky if you wire it wrong. The drive would have to contain important and irreplaceable data before I would go to that effort. Let's hope it's just a bad cable.


I have done this with many passports, either replace the board if you can find one, resolder a new port if the port is bad, as far as the cable I found not just any cable will work, it needs to be very close to the original which is usually short with a cylindrical shielding on it, adapter conversions don't usually work as it will not spin the device fast enough.

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