Serial ATA power and data cables are keyed on the sides, as seen on the drive below. Some early Serial ATA drives were also able to accept older 4-pin ATA power connectors. The sticker warns that builders should chose either SATA or legacy power, but not both.
Many PCI Express graphics cards require more power than the slot is able to provide, and use the 6-pin input connector shown below or a newer, higher-amperage 8-pin version. The 6-pin connector must never be confused with 4-pin or 8-pin motherboard power, as its polarity is the opposite of those! Fortunately, the newer 8-pin PCI Express power cables are designed in such a way that these cannot be forced unintentionally into a motherboard’s 8-pin connector.
Floppy drives have almost faded into history, but one myth has stuck around nearly since the beginning: though rumors abound to the contrary, the "red stripe" indicating pin 1 on the data cable is not always on the same side as the power connector. Both drives in the photo below have pin 1 on the left side, as seen when facing the connector, even though the top drive has the power connection on the right side when viewed from this same perspective. The data cable orientation in the photo is proper for every modern floppy drive we’ve used.
Most floppy cables are now keyed with a block below the connector, but many floppy drives such as the bottom one in the photo above are designed to defeat this protection by having notches on both sides. It’s a good thing most of us don’t have to worry about these troublesome devices any longer.
ATAPI and Ultra ATA drives have pin 1 on the "other" side of the connector, as seen when facing it (on the right in the photo below). It has been many years since we've seen a nonstandard drive. A key is located on the top of all 80-conductor ATA cables to prevent upside-down insertion.
Floppy and ATA drive power connectors are keyed to fit one way. Of these two connector styles, floppy power is easiest to force on the wrong way and should be visually inspected to ensure proper placement.
- Part 1: Component Selection
- Processor And Graphics Selection
- Motherboard Options
- Remember The Memory!
- Hard Drive Selection
- Power Supplies And Other Components
- Part 2: Choosing The Right Vendor
- Purchase Price
- Part 3: Putting It All Together
- Installing The CPU
- Installing The CPU Cooler
- Installing The Power Supply And Motherboard
- Installing Other Components
- Motherboard Cable Installation
- Device Cable Installation
- Final Words