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Thread: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

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    Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    hello,

    I'm looking to replace the DVDRW drive in a laptop computer. However, I am thoroughly confused about the different types of connector.

    The drive I'm replacing has a connector like this (the one labelled Slim ATAPI):



    What kind of interface is that? SATA or PATA? I first thought it would have to be SATA, as PATA uses many pins (as opposed to the "card-edge" type) for the connector. But would this mean there are two types of SATA connector for slim optical drives??

    If it is PATA, and the two connectors in the above picture are the only two, then what on Earth does slimline ATAPI mean?

    Incidentally, I did visit a local PC shop to ask about prices for a drive, and the guy showed me one, with the type of connector I need, and he was very sure it was SATA.
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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Sounds very confusing.. SATA is a dual chanel serial connection.

    From a bit of googleing Slim ATAPI connector (You say the one you need) has 50 connections of which 16 are parallel data D00 to D15 so its not SATA .

    I know from past that the Slim ATAPI can have different settings for master/slave On a Toshiba laptop a while ago I had to do some soldering of the tracks on a replacement drive to make the laptop see the drive, this may not be the case with yours. Hope this makes some sence.

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    The slim ATAPI is, as it says on the tin - an ATAPI interface, akin to IDE, and designed like that to aid in hot swapping/easy drive changes for opticals.

    Sata devices are MOSTLY (but not always) exactly the same as the sata interface you see there, i.e. same as what you get in desktops. There are other interfaces different to both of those but normally if you strip away some crud from the drive you've still got one or the other underneath
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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Give the bloke from the shop a slap.

    As has been said you've got 'laptop IDE' there, the slim referring to the reduced size of the ATAPI interface from what you're used to seeing on old desktops.

    Most laptops have some form of additional caddy or adaptor to interface with their own hardware design. Dell D600-series laptops for example use a simple over-connector while the same drives in servers often sit in their own caddy. This can often confuse first-time fiddlers
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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    have a look at this item on LinITX.com, its an adapter for the slimline ATAPI connector to a regulkar IDE. Might help understand things.

    http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=10869

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    So-called ATAPI connectors are mini-PATA connectors, which the ATAPI protocol operates over. ATAPI also works over SATA, but the SATA power and data connectors are already very small so there's no need for a 'mini' version.

    Just another of many examples of why SATA is superior.
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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    As mentioned - laptop SATA drives have the same connectors as desktop drives. PATA connectors are different so in the picture the top is SATA, the bottoms is PATA.

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Just to confuse things though, there is a mini SATA connector out there for laptop optical drives as well as 1.8" drives. I think it's mainly the power section that has changes as opposed to the data side, but there may be some difference to both.

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Oh yeah I forgot about that. It still looks similar IIRC though.

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Which will lead to more confusion. At least with compact IDE it wasn't possible to get caught out... unless a vendor used a completely different connector which did happen from time to time.

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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Wow. It's impressive how everything becomes twice as complicated with notebooks.

    So if I purchased the following, would it be the kind of connector I need (slim ATAPI/"New PATA")?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Samsu...ook-PATA-black

    Thanks a ton for all your help guys, very helpful indeed.
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    Re: Understanding notebook (slim) optical drive connectors/interfaces

    Yup, that should fit just fine.

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