need help on switching hard drives please!

hi folks,

sorry i am new to this so please excuse my ignorance when using the forums.
as well i am a very novice computer individual so please go easy on me and use “dumbed down” terminology if you wish to help me as i have no clue or understanding as to what people are telling me sometimes.
i have an issue and i was wondering if there was someone that could help me out?

i have a desktop that i have been working on and i wanted to install a new hard drive and operating system.
my current set up is a western digital WD2500js hard drive and i’m using windows xp pro as my o.s.
i recently purchased windows 7 ultimate and since my hard drive was on its way out i purchased a western digital wd15ears on the sales persons recommendation.
when i went to change the hard drive i noticed that they were different. there was no place to put the 4 pin power connector on the new hard drive.
everything else looks the exact same although i am aware that looks are not related to functionality.
i was wondering if anyone knew if i was able to use this hard drive in my computer? i do have many other cables coming from the back of my power supply and wondered if one of them was possibly the right power connector for this hard drive? possibly a 15 pin connector??
i wasn’t sure if all the pin connectors along the base of the hard drive were power connectors or if they were for a different strap of some kind?
as i said the two drives look identical but the 4 pin connector is not on the new hard drive.
if anyone is able to help me out that would be fantastic.
thanks in advance for any asistance!

best regards,


Your original hard drive has a PATA (Parallel ATA) interface. This means that power is applied through a 4-pin connector and data through a 40-pin connector using flat ribbon cable.

Your replacement hard drive has a SATA (Serial ATA) interface. This means that power is applied through a 15-pin connector and data through a 7-pin connector using a smaller, oval-shape, cable.

Unfortunately the power and data interfaces have to be supported by your computer’s power supply and motherboard. While you might find an adapter to convert from 4-pin power to SATA power connectors there is still the problem of converting the PATA data interface of your motherboard to the SATA data interface of the hard drive (and if you could, you would not realise the full performance of your new drive anyway).

I would suggest that you have not received the correct hard disk replacement for your system. Whether this was through an assumption on the salesperson’s part or whether you were unaware of the specifics of your system’s hardware and did not convey that to the salesperson.

Unless you want to upgrade your motherboard (and use a power adapter unless you also upgrade the power supply) you would be better returning the drive and buying a PATA model - which are still available.

Neil Darlow

neil, you are a life saver sir!

thank you so much for your response. i have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why the two were different.
i sincerely thought my old drive was a sata system. i remembered seeing sata on the top of it.
when i was at the store i told the fellow i was upgrading to the windows ultimate 64bit system and wanted to upgrade my hard drive to something faster.
he suggested i go with this because it was low power and green and while the disc speed was less it would function better.
maybe it was a bit of confusion on both ends!
i will return this drive and get a compatible driver in a pata form.
or as you mentioned maybe i could upgrade to a different motherboard and cpu? i currently have the intel board #d102ggc2 and dual core intel processor.
if i may pick your brain again for a minute would you know if i could upgrade to the intel board #dp55sb motherboard and the intel 875k i7 unlocked processor? at least that i know is a sata motherboard since i was interested in replacing my board first but went the cheaper route of O.S and Hard drive.
would this driver be ok with that board and cpu upgrade?
neil thanks again for your help i sincerely appreciate it and all the very best to you.