By Karim Salmi / Data Recovery / 0 Comments

An Intro to Internal Hard Drive to PC Connections

Article 6: An Intro to Internal Hard Drive to PC Connections

In this 6th installment of the VitalTech hard drive and data recovery blog series, we’ll cover the common internal connections between hard drives and PCs and then talk a little about the typical issues you can encounter when they experience some sort of a problem.

Other Articles in This Hard Drive and Data Recovery Series

Note: To move to different articles within the series, simply click any of the hyperlinked titles below. And don’t worry, each corresponding article has the same list so you won’t get lost.

Article 1: Your Hard Drive (How It Works and What Causes It to Crash)

Article 2: The Basics of Modern Hard Drive Disk Failures

Article 3: Hard Drive Mechanical Arm Failures 101

Article 4: How Hard Drives Save and Retrieve Your Files

Article 5: Hard Drive Printed Circuit Boards and Data Recovery Explained

Article 6: An Intro to Internal Hard Drive to PC Connections

Article 7: External Hard Drives and Data Recovery

What good is having a fabulous hard drive filled with gigs of text files, images, videos, programs, preferences, gaming glory and your operating system if it can’t interface with your PC? This communication happens through a relatively small amount of internal connections, outlined below.

up close view of SATA hard drive port

  • SATA: Internally, within your hard drive, the standard Serial Advanced Technology Attachment connection accommodates all formats and makes it possible to transfer data at incredibly high speeds.
  • USB: The Universal Serial Bus is a very common way to connect a hard drive or external storage device to any PC, comes standard on just about all desktops, laptops and popular gaming systems.
  • eSATA: Some PCs come boosted with more advanced, high-performance eSATA connections which make even higher data transfer speeds possible from external drives. These are superior to USB and…
  • FireWire: This is an increasingly well-known upgrade to USB connections that makes data transfer faster which can be very important for people or businesses who deal with much larger files – graphic artists, web designers, programmers, movie makers, etc.

Listen, as technology progresses, in general so does the amount of data we transfer. Consider the amount of internal data transfer on your typical hard drive from 2006 v. those of today. So from USB, to Firewire to eSATA, and outdated connections upgraded to the modern SATA.

Some of the components involved are the different hard drive connection panels along with their corresponding connection power and converter cables, themselves mini-marvels of engineering. As with anything else involved in 21st century PC-tech, all this can get crazy complex in a heartbeat. So with that said let’s talk about 3 sure signs there’s an issue brewing.

3 Common Hard Drive Connection Errors

  1. The hard drive suddenly isn’t recognized by the computer, indicating that there’s an internal disconnect.
  2. Your computer begins asking you to (re)format the hard drive which will destroy all the data that hasn’t been backed up on an external drive or storage device in the process.
  3. Your computer is letting you see files but you can’t open them, which again, is a clear sign of disconnection between your hard drive and PC.

In some cases, when people know their way around hard drives, exchanging one cable or converter with another isn’t the hardest thing to do in the world. But for most folks, like PC owners who reach out to VitalTech, this is all a grey area where they don’t know what kind of cables they need, how to assess/repair them, or what choices are best to suit their computing needs.

And with that said, we’ll move on to the last article in our hard drive and data recovery blog series that deals with external drives.

A computer guru with ten years of professional experience. From corporate IT to forensic data recovery, he has seen it all and has the stories to prove it. His hobbies include programming and ice hockey.