Quantcast Molex to SATA power adapter fire hazard? - digitalFAQ Forum
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05-13-2019, 09:40 PM
pavilion pavilion is offline
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Most of you probably know this, but I thought I would share what I have learned over the past few days about installing a new SATA drive in an old PC that has a Molex-connector power supply (as they all do). So, the problem is, obviously, how to power up an internal SATA drive without the proper power connector?

The answer would seem simple. Just go to Amazon and you'll see hundreds of small converter cables that connect between the older Molex connector and the newer SATA connector. What you may not know (I certainly didn't) is that these adapter cables are prone to causing fires and burning through whatever device is connected.

For more info, just Google the subject and you'll see tons of info and videos that explain it in detail. THe net result of my own research is that the adapter cables that use a crimp-style connection are apparently the safest way to go unless you want to hack the power supply cable directly.

If you want to know which ones on Amazon are that type, let me know. I think I have found a couple of them that work.
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  #2  
05-14-2019, 02:51 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pavilion View Post
Most of you probably know this, but I thought I would share what I have learned over the past few days about installing a new SATA drive in an old PC that has a Molex-connector power supply (as they all do). So, the problem is, obviously, how to power up an internal SATA drive without the proper power connector?

The answer would seem simple. Just go to Amazon and you'll see hundreds of small converter cables that connect between the older Molex connector and the newer SATA connector. What you may not know (I certainly didn't) is that these adapter cables are prone to causing fires and burning through whatever device is connected.

For more info, just Google the subject and you'll see tons of info and videos that explain it in detail. THe net result of my own research is that the adapter cables that use a crimp-style connection are apparently the safest way to go unless you want to hack the power supply cable directly.

If you want to know which ones on Amazon are that type, let me know. I think I have found a couple of them that work.
If you're concerned about using adapters, the best answer is to get a new power supply with SATA connectors. Another plus is that if your power supply is old enough to only have molex connectors, it's probably not running as efficiently as it was and is more likely to burn out (though not likely to burst into flames) or cause damage to other PC components other than your hard drive.

If you go with an adapter, get those with 4 or 5 star ratings. Stay away from the unrated $1.99 cables. Personally, any cable I receive free (e.g. when I buy a used drive), I toss and use one that I bought or got with a new drive.

Also, stay away from Y-splitter (one molex to two SATA) adapters. While new hard drives are more power efficient, powering two drives off one molex may be over driving that connection.
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05-14-2019, 02:58 PM
pavilion pavilion is offline
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The thing is, I would need a power supply with BOTH types of connectors because I still have Molex-type devices that need power, and I haven't found one of those yet. Your advice on cables is right on, but in this case I would specifically look for SATA adapters that have crimped wires that are inserted into their own channels. This prevents the major cause of shorts from wires in a molded connector that can touch each other.

-- merged --

I found a power supply that fits my PC and has both Molex and SATA connectors, but I now wonder, what makes those SATA connectors any safer than the small Molex -> SATA adapters? If the problem is always on the SATA end, is it possible that these connectors on the power supply itself can catch fire, or is the problem limited to converting Molex to SATA?
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05-14-2019, 06:32 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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pavilion, can you list the specific model number of the computer you are using?
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05-14-2019, 06:42 PM
pavilion pavilion is offline
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Dell Dimension 8300. Just ordered a Silencer 410 Dell-2 power supply that has Molex and SATA connectors. I understand it's a quality build so I'm not really expecting a fire, but conceptually, it makes sense that whatever the problems are with SATA connectors, they could be present in a power supply just as in an adapter cable.
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  #6  
05-14-2019, 08:16 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I've never heard of SATA/4-pin adapters ever catching fire, but:

(1) I've never used this type of cheap cable, so never run into the issue
(2) cheap wires are not isolated to just SATA/molex, but just anything that carries power and is shoddily made

I've had more issues with graphics cards melting, motherboards catching fire -- and even an ATI AIW card caught fire on me some years ago, unseen shipping damage (moron seller used padding envelope, not a box).

I've caused some fires, too. Beware of Smurfs with soldering guns!

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05-14-2019, 11:27 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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I haven't had an adapter catch fire, but I've had a few that smoked when connected. It's because one or more the pins on the male molex end is pushed back or pulled too far out and a stray strand of the wiring touches another connector. In other words, a bad crimp and poor/loose fitting on the connector (probably due to old molds). *Poof* black smoke!

The same thing can happen with male to female molex extensions or Y-connectors. Especially because they can be super tight to attach and remove.
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05-14-2019, 11:35 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I've never heard of SATA/4-pin adapters ever catching fire, but:

(1) I've never used this type of cheap cable, so never run into the issue
(2) cheap wires are not isolated to just SATA/molex, but just anything that carries power and is shoddily made

I've had more issues with graphics cards melting, motherboards catching fire -- and even an ATI AIW card caught fire on me some years ago, unseen shipping damage (moron seller used padding envelope, not a box).

I've caused some fires, too. Beware of Smurfs with soldering guns!
Would Firey Smurf be red?
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05-15-2019, 02:35 PM
pavilion pavilion is offline
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For those interested, hope this is helpful. Here is a Molex -> SATA adapter cable that appears to be well made and without the serious problem of the wires being molded into the connector.

See the attached photo where each wire is inserted into its own channel and held by crimp to metal connectors. This keeps the wires separated from each other and preventing an electrical short.

Here is the link for the item:

Monoprice 101253 6-inch SATA 15-Pin Female to Molex 4-Pin Male Power Adapter

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...RVR8SANYR44SZY


Attached Images
File Type: png Molex SATA Adapter.png (443.2 KB, 3 downloads)
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