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Cable confusion

Posted on 2006-11-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-30
AFAIK

a. the parallel ATA interface on a board commonly uses a 40-pin connector
b. in a master+slave cable one end has the requisite 40 pin interface with the board
and the master and slave connectors often have a 'missing' pin.

The cable i've got here has *all three* connectors missing a pin so i can't possibly interface with the board. What's going on?
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Question by:CEHJ
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18 Comments
 
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

by:
Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 17882212
You probably have an old motherboard that requires an old 40-wire cable.  The new 80-wire cables have one pin blocked out, to prevent improper insertion: http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/23/pc_interfaces_101/page15.html.
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LVL 86

Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882300
Yes, that mobo socket has missing pins. Mine doesn't. Do you think i can still get the right cables and what should i ask for? A 40-wire cable?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17882339
A 40-wire cable should have all the holes present.  Apparently, this motherboard only supports older ATA-33 drives or slower.  Which one do you have?
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LVL 86

Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882406
>>Apparently, this motherboard

Which one? Sorry if that sounds a stupid question ;-)

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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17882460
The one that doesn't have a missing pin (yours).
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LVL 86

Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882517
Good point. Where do i look for the board's serial number?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17882551
Not serial number, I want the model number - usually, it's stenciled in white on the edge of the board.  If you can boot it up, it will reveal it in the BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882585
Ah. Not at the box but i might be able to get it out of dmesg perhaps?
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Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882643
Had to memorise this as had no pencil - hope it's right

BS440BX/BIS/2000

?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17882713
I would like to know the manufacturer as well, but I see a "440BX" string in there, which would make this pretty old - a Pentium III class, I'm guessing?  If so, ATA-33 is about right.
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LVL 86

Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17882747
>>a Pentium III class, I'm guessing?

Yes

Didn't see a manufacturer's name
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17882931
Then my original assessment holds: you have an old motherboard that requires a 40-wire cable.
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LVL 86

Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17883152
OK. So i have to ask for 'a 40 wire ATA ribbon cable'?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17883239
Yes, they should not have connectors with blocked pins.
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LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 17884355
Heat a needle up with a lighter and push it into the plug to pull out the insert. Then it's not blocked. Or chop the pin off the motherboard connector with cutters, it doesn't connect to anywhere as you can see by looking at the missing pins on your disks.
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Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17885149
That's a good idea - i prefer your first one - although i had contemplated your second ;-)
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 17885382
Sometimes the first one isn't an option since it's cheaper in the long run to make a plastic block with 39 holes in it and push 39 carefully constructed bits of metal into it than make a plastic block with 40 holes in it and push 39 carefully constructed bits of metal into it plus one insert. Drilling a hole in the cable block is farr harder than breaking the pin off the mobo.

Holding the needle with pliers is another good idea, I burnt myself last time I pulled a broken PS2 keyboard location key out of a motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 17885456
Thanks guys
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