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Soldering IDE cable directly to Laptop MoBO

Last response: in Storage
February 28, 2007 11:51:13 AM

Hi everyone :) 

I have looked high and low for the answer to this question (here, google, hackaday etc.) I cannot find what I'm looking for so here it goes:

I have two fujitsu lifebook C-6637 laptops. Replacement caddies are not available, well, you must spend £175 for a 10gb hard drive from their parts supplier to get one included (ridiculous I know). Have been watching eBay like a hawk for a few weeks, no joy there either.

Basiaclly, I am happy to buy a 44 pin IDE cable with 2.5" female ends, chop it in two (one for each laptop) and then solder each one directly on to the back of the MoBo connector. However, I cannot find any techinal datasheets for the laptop (only basic manual and it was in German) and although I have seen various hacks similair to this (iPod, PS2, xBox etc) I cannot find one explaining the wiring diagram of a 44pin plug -> Connector/Socket (only 40 pin IDE). I know they are essentially the same (extra wires for carrying power I beleive) but I would like to see something in black and white before going ahead with the mod.

Any information from people who have done something similair would be greatly appreciated. I have an old Dell LS400 MoBo that I was going to use for a practice run if I can't find an answer soon. I recently ripped off a Hirose connector from my WiFi card and soldered on an external antenna jack (successfuly I should add) and now I have delusions of grandeur that tell me anything is possible. Please let me know if my hubris has got the better of me on this one.
February 28, 2007 6:56:49 PM

Thanks mkaibear, I think thats all I need. Still waiting for the cable to arrrive so I will let you know how I get on with it in a few days time.

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February 28, 2007 7:37:03 PM

Why not just buy something like This?
February 28, 2007 8:17:30 PM

Thanks darkstar but that is an adapter to convert IDE 2.5" (44pin) -> IDE 3.5" (40pin)

I need to connect a 2.5" IDE drive to a 2.5" socket but I do not have the caddy for the laptop, thats why I want to solder a cable (with a 44pin female end) directly on to the laptop MoBo connector (44pin, weird looking fujitsu plug).

I have not stripped the laptop entirely but I have removed enough gubbins to see "44" printed on the MoBo at one end of the caddy connector so I'm hoping it will be a relatively straight forward process of mapping the pins -> wires.
February 28, 2007 9:00:11 PM

wouldnt it be easier to just do an ebay search and find an old busted laptop with the same case? im seeing lots of busted up fujitsu's on ebay for .99c

Just a suggestion. 8)
a b G Storage
February 28, 2007 9:13:27 PM

What about using an external WD passport drive? Does not need power to function.
February 28, 2007 9:35:06 PM

sandmanwn: Unfortunately the 99c laptops you mention are invariably missing the hdd caddy and/or are the wrong series/model (C-6637 is French in origin I beleive so even fewer about than other types) . Plus I need two so I would like to do this as cheaply as possible (time not an issue, self employed bum, £4.50 cable cut in two better than - 2 x £1 - 10 + £10 p+p = £40) These aren't particularly desirable laptops either so I cant see much resale potential in the parts I don't need as well.

Compatia_rep: Only has USB 1.1 so would be very slow, plus, unsure if laptop supports USB boot-up as BIOS has password that I haven't removed yet (tried all the known phoenix's, looking to do a hardware reset when I strip them down for soldering)

Thanks for the suggestions though everyone, much appreciated :D 
a b G Storage
February 28, 2007 9:41:37 PM

I have a few old lifebooks and they do support usb booting.

As for resetting the password.... you cant and its meant to be that way. The bios password is programed in the eeprom (or another chip) and has to be unlocked over the phone. You can send in the laptops but that will cost. They wont do it over the phone for you, because you are not the registered owner.

If there is hack, I am unaware, but resetting the bios by pulling the battery will not release the password.