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I recently bought one of these cables to connect my hard drive (also WD – Western Digital) to my motherboard. I had never used SATA before and was only familiar with IDE cables – the annoying thick ones that are a pain to connect. Unlike IDE cables, SATA leads can only be plugged in one way at both ends. This cable holds the power connection stable too.
This cable can only really be used on Western Digital hard drives, but they are a leading manufacture and highly recommended. Both WD Raptor and WD Caviar SE Serial ATA drives use this unique connection, but there are also other SecureConnect compatible hard drives out there. The main reason you would buy this rather than any old SATA cable is because of its SecureConnect design which holds it in place nice and tight.
I have a WD raptor drive, and following the usual hard drive install procedures, connecting this lead was very simple. With the popular IDE cables you could easily forget which way round it should be plugged in and have problems booting up, but I just connected this between the HD and the Serial ATA plug on my motherboard and my computer recognised the device with no problems.
The lead has a 7 pin Serial ATA connector coupled to a 15 pin Serial ATA power plug/slot on one end – this plugs into the HD, and the other end is a 7 pin Serial ATA to plug into your motherboard or backplane.
Apparently the cable provides a 500% stronger, safer connection. Now I don’t know about you, but the cables in my computer never really get pulled or tugged around that much, in any circumstances. I bought this cable not for the secure connection feature, but just because it was WD and would be good quality as well as fast.
I suppose the SecureConnect idea really comes into play with external drives. Recently, more and more computers are coming with a SATA port round the back or even on the front panel. This cable could be useful to avoid any risks of data loss if the HD gets nudged etc. The cable is half a meter long, which is plenty for any internal wiring and adequate for external connections too.
It does seem though that all external hard drives are usually USB or FireWire which are both more popular nowadays.
The cable and connectors are durable and flexible. Nice and easy to use. If it is quality you are after then this is a safe buy – the cable is not flimsy and the connectors are well fitting and sturdy. The one pictured is blue but mine came in black. In terms of looks, you can find ‘fancier’ SATA cables around. Look in MAPLIN or any specific computer shop these days and there are wild glow in the dark, multicoloured or reflective internal components to pimp up your PC with. It seems to me that customizing your PC is somewhat of a fashion statement to some people and the market (as always) is catering to this.
Overall a good cable for use in top quality systems. Does what it says on the box with no problems.