SATA adapter burning out

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Skaught
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SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Fri May 22, 2015 12:00 am

I have an Xbox with a v1.0 motherboard. I have been trying to install a SATA hard drive. Every time I plug in a PATA to SATA adapter, the adapter and drive burn out in a puff of smoke. I used a multimeter to test for high voltage, and nothing coming off of the PATA cable is higher than 3.25v.

I'm not sure where to go beyond checking the voltages off of the cable. Anyone have any ideas?

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Rocky5 » Fri May 22, 2015 12:30 am

Check & make sure the adapter & hdd aren't shorting each other out.
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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Fri May 22, 2015 2:26 am

Thanks for the help.

I did that. A nice piece of foam sticky tape between the two. All of the drives have been sitting outside the XBOX, so there is no shorting there. I have tried and burned out three different adapters and drives. I have tried using the interneal XBOX power supply, as well as using an external power supply. Both ended in smoke. Am I right in assuming that this is not a common outcome from these kinds of adapters?

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by r32crazy01 » Fri May 22, 2015 3:39 am

You mentioned that you have tried a few different adapters, are they a different make or the same make?

Sounds like you either have really bad luck, or using a make that's lacking in quality control.
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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Fri May 22, 2015 4:24 am

Different makes. This is why I think it is something with the XBOX.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by fxmech » Fri May 22, 2015 6:43 am

Smoke=bad, get a new box and continue trouble shooting once you have a working Xbox ;)

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Fri May 22, 2015 7:53 am

Then XBOX itself does not seem to be damaged by the burnings. It is the adapter and the drive. I have two new adapters. I plugged one of the two new adapters + drive into a second v1.0 Xbox and no smoke. I haven't gotten the chance to install anything yet, but so far, it looks like it will work. This still doesn't explain the problem with Xbox #1, but at least I should end up with one Xbox that can take a 2TB drive.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Ging3rguy » Fri May 22, 2015 8:14 am

Is xbox #1 working without the adaptor and with the original hdd? Does the adaptor just plug in to the molex for the hdd? :(

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Fri May 22, 2015 10:28 pm

Yes, Xbox #1 does work with the original drive. It also works with replacement PATA drives. That is one of the weird things about this. I currently have a 320GB PATA drive in it with no problems. The problem is only when I use SATA adapter and drive.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Rocky5 » Fri May 22, 2015 11:09 pm

Daft question, you are plugging the molex connector in the right way? & not shorting the 5v won 12v.
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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Sat May 23, 2015 12:46 am

Hehe...Not daft at all. Yes, I am plugging the Molex connector in the correct way. The connector is keyed, so it physically cannot be plugged in backwards. I also tried with an external power cable. I have a PATA/SATA to usb adapter that has an external Molex connector for use with PATA Drives. The third adapter + drive I burned was using that external power source.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Nextelhalo » Sat May 23, 2015 2:02 am

Since you used an external power source for the adapter and it still went up in smoke I think you can probably rule out the xbox itself. This sounds like a crazy case of bad luck or procedure. Best test would be to try it on another xbox and see what happens.
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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Sat May 23, 2015 6:40 am

I don't think so. Three burns with three adapters + drives in that XBOX, and the first one I put in my other XBOX does not burn. This leans towards the XBOX. While the power supply is external, I am using the same power supply on XBox #2 with adapter + drive #4 without it burning. It seems like something is causing a power spike on the data cable. I guess the ultimate test would be for me to sacrifice a 4th adapter + drive to the XBox #1 after having it work successfully on XBox #2. Not my first choice. I don't mind the cost of the adapter, but the drives costs are starting to really add up.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by xman » Sat May 23, 2015 8:50 am

This is how I prepare a sata HDD for an adapter.
Image

Those metal pins must not be able to hit the metal frame of the hard drive. I use a couple of layers of insulation tape and on this machine a layer of masking tape for padding more than anything else over that. The adapter is only attached by the data / power connector and can pivot on the connector and touch the HDD. This, unless it is insulated, WILL short out the adapter board. If the board is standing straight up and down as designed, you won't have an issue but you have a thick power cable attached to the board and this will flex the adapter and it will touch.

Don't worry about yours not having the yellow DVD cable near it. This is on one of my machines that uses the DVD connector to mount the HDD. It is the HDD insulated in the picture that you need to see.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Sun May 24, 2015 12:43 am

This is the most recent adapter that burned. Shorting out against the drive definitely did not happen with the 3M foam tape in place specifically to prevent any chance of shorting out.
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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by fxmech » Sun May 24, 2015 5:26 am

Is that ESD safe tape? I just used electrical tape...

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by elpenguino » Sun May 24, 2015 11:12 am

Hmmmm, in my experience funny things like this can be a sign of unexpected earthing levels. So, for example, one side of the system, say the xbox has a 'floating' earth. This point is at 0Volts for everything in the xbox. But if you actually measure the voltage at this point COMPARED to something outside of the system, the voltage is higher.

Then you connect something that doesn't expect this and current flows because voltages exceed the limits.

Not only is the floating earth above the 'real' 0volts, but so is everything else. For example, the data lines are normally 0-3.3 volts above 'earth' , but now they are 0-3.3 volts above something higher than 0.

Anyway, just an idea. Get your volt meter and poke around. Measure between the black wire on the standard HDD connector and something outside the xbox, like a metal tap.

Also, you never said whether your drive caught on fire with just the SATA drive connected to the power, just connected to the data lines, or both. Expensive experiments if you're using new drives :-(

Cheers,
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PS, OK I looked at the pic and I see that you can't just connect power or data to your adapter........doh

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by Skaught » Sun May 24, 2015 6:13 pm

I will give the voltage test you suggest a try. That would make some sense. Now that you mention it, every time I burned a drive, I did have both the data and power plugged into the PATA side of the adapter. I am starting to think that I may just have to settle for this box being a 320GB box. I wanted to make it a 2TB box so that I could put every game I have on it at once, and not have to fiddle with moving games on and off of it. What would be ideal is if (maybe on Xbox #2 which doesn't burn) I could chain an internal to external SATA adapter to the internal PATA to SATA adapter. That way I could use external drives. Then I could just have multiple drives to handle needing more space.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by elpenguino » Mon May 25, 2015 9:54 pm

Forgot to say that if you do voltage checks for this scenario, set your volt meter to AC then DC to check if both cases.

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Re: SATA adapter burning out

Post by xman » Tue May 26, 2015 8:55 am

Skaught wrote:This is the most recent adapter that burned. Shorting out against the drive definitely did not happen with the 3M foam tape in place specifically to prevent any chance of shorting out.
The pins on the solder side of the adapter will piece straight through that. I would be using hard plastic if you think spacing is required.
fxmech wrote:Is that ESD safe tape? I just used electrical tape...
I doubt it very much, most adhesives do conduct electricity. Electrical tape is one of the only ones that is guaranteed not to. If the sticky side of the tape is stuck directly to the solderside of the adapter, I'm pretty sure it would short out without the HDD connected. I personally would use multiple layers of electrical tape. I don't know how good your adapters are made but all mine I clip the high solder joints so there are no tall, sharp pins that could punch through the tape.

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