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how to use a 3.5 hard drive connected to 2.5 laptop cable

Posted on 2003-12-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I need to know how to use a 3.5 hard drive and connect it to the 2.5 cable in the expansion bay of my laptop. It does support a second hard drive (2.5) but I need to connect a 3.5 with a cable and adapter. I tried to use a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter that is normally used to go the other way and use a 2.5 in a pc. The kind with the small green board on it. I even powered the 3.5 from another computer to the power connector. The laptop won't recognize the 3.5 drive, I tried several known good 3.5 drives. But when I connect a 2.5 directly to the 44 pin 2.5 cable in the laptop, it works. I need to be able to connect a 3.5 for repair reasons. I do on site repairs of pcs and need to be able to use the pc to load programs on the 3.5's and make an image of the 3.5's when I am done for disaster recovery the next time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:thomjw
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25 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9901904
you can use a drive bay enclosure that you hook up using the USB port on your laptop.  

here is an example

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=578550&sku=K450-8050

now how this works is very simple.  You put your 3.5 inch drive in the enclosure.  Plug the power addapter into a wall socket and plug the usb cable into your laptop.

The example I showed you is kind of expensive.  I have seen them for cheaper.  Your best bet would be to go to a local computer/office store and see if they have any.  these types of enclosures are becoming common.  

This is the only way that it is possible that I know of to hook a 3.5 inch disk to a labtop.  this is due to the fact that the cables for labtop hard drives are different from that of there desktop conterparts.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9901911
with the hard drive hooked up to the USB you will be able to repair it as you please.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9901932
Here is a page that has several enclosures listed.  You will need to make sure that you get the correct one.  Some of them do not go from 3.5 IDE to usb.  So you will have to read carefully.

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=0&submit=Go&description=external%2Chard%2Cdrive%2Cenclosure
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9901974
Not an off the shelf item, I don't imagine it would cost an an arm and a leg to have fabricated:

https://www.cablestogo.com/custom_form.asp
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Expert Comment

by:wozza_c
ID: 9903822
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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9910333
A usb enclosure won't work for what I am doing. I need to be able to connect the 2.5 44 pin laptop hd drive connector directly to a 3.5 40 pin hard drive. This will allow me to make images of the 3.5 hard drive from the laptop, or use specific repair programs to the 3.5 hard dirve from the laptop. I need to be able to have the laptop recognize the 3.5 hard drive as a slave hard drive. The laptop will recognize a 2.5 slave, I just need it to recognize a 3.5 hard drive as a slave.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9911139
I ran across this guy last night, take a look
www.badflash.com
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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9940054
Still need some help with this one. Like I said, I simply can not use an external usb or firewire enclosure. I need to hook this up through the secondary hard drive caddy in the modular bay via an adapter and ide wire.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9940068
Could you create your own?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9940074
Did you email www.badflash.com  ?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9940079
and How are you going to power the 3.5" drive
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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9943648
I spoke to badflash.com, and they are sending me an adapter, but they aren't sure if it will solve the problem, they said that the dell may be only wanting to recognize specific 2.5 drives? Has anyone got any ideas? I installed the latest bios update A12. It just doesn't make any sense why it won't recognize a 3.5, when it will recognize a 2.5? Oh, and I am powering the 3.5 externally, and not from the laptop.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9944461
The only issue I can think of is an old 3.5 that has no cable-select... it would have to be mighty old.
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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9954466
O.K., now I got another adapter and tried it. It still won't see the 3.5 drive. I absolutely cannot think of anything else to try? I am wondering if Dell Lattitude C810 laptops are set up to only recognize a 2.5 secondary drive and not anything other than IBM travelstar? Again, I have updated the bios to A12, and it didn't help. I know the adapter is good because I tried reversing it and hooking the 2.5 laptop drive to a pc with the adpater and it recognized the 2.5 drive fine on the pc. The laptop will detect the 2.5, just not any 3.5? I have it externally powered. I absolutely refuse to give up, there has got to be a way to do this.....!!!!! Please help!!!!!
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9954488
> Dell Lattitude C810 laptops are set up to only recognize a 2.5 secondary drive and not anything other than IBM travelstar?
could be a possibilty.  maybe they did something like HP has with some of their desktops were you can not had any graphics cards becuase of the way they have the bios setup.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9954490
maybe you should call Dell and see if it can be done
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9954547
You set the drive up for cable-select?


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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9954812
set up as c/s, master, and slave, still nothing. I posted on Dell's community site tonight I'll let you know what they said. I really hoped someone in here can help, because of the nature of what I'm trying to do, I doubt that Dell will even offer to help. I'm open to any suggestions at this point. Thanks everyone, I'm still not going to give up on this until "we" can find a solution. I'm sure that there is other people out there that could benefit from a solution to this.
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Author Comment

by:thomjw
ID: 9969397
still not able to solve this. I even tried to use the primary laptop hd cable and hook and adapter and cable to it, nothing???
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
chicagoan earned 500 total points
ID: 9969587
http://www.unitechelectronics.com/idecables.htm
Australia BUT they have exactly the cable you're looking for
Even a pic!
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9976172
I think I am going to have to add that site to my computers stores.  They have every type of cable that that deals with hard drives that you could think of.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9976259
and I few I never would have thought of
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9976382
that is what i was thinking.

Look at the one that has the two hard drives stacked.  Note that they have made it so that the master is the the middle connector.  It gets rid of having to twist the cable.  Sometimes that twist is one of the pain in the butts.  

Why don't they do that will all cables?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9976388
The domain:
www.buckeyes_house_of_sensible_cables.com
seems to be available!
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 9976467
;)
0

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