Molex, You Suck

A molex to sata adapter, not the busted one.

When I was reassembling the drive cages in Beavertail, it was definitely plain that one set was more damaged than the adjacent set. The only two obvious flaws were heat, and grounding.
I had been monitoring the heat off and on, and the drives never even got higher than 90F, and they are laptop drives, so they should stand up to 120F.

The orientation of the drive cages was less professional. I noticed that one was sitting where some drive PCB could touch the chassis, which was a tip off.

But when putting the cages back together, one of the Molex splitters was busted. It had a yellow lead pushed backwards making dubious contact inside the housing, and one of the y leads had broken free.

Well, good thing I had a pocket knife: the spreaders on the bullet connection were bent backwards. I also opened the rear of the bullet, stripped the loose wire down and chomped it back onto form with my teeth.

I Frackin Hate(tm) those dirt ball Molex connectors. You spend more time on fixing them than snapping them together. Tip: after the housing is snapped together, shove each wire into it further.

And the happy ending: I only lost three files out of two different snapshots. The snapshots I didn’t need, so I destroyed them, and resilvering cleaned up the mess. After putting the cages back, I ran a final scrub and it went fine.

2 responses to “Molex, You Suck”

  1. These are one of the most annoying connectors in the word. While easy to plug in they don’t give you a positive feel that it’s made a good connection. But try to unplug them and they will seemed to have welded themselves to the socket. That is until they suddenly pop free and you smash your hand against some sharp sheet metal… I seem to remember that they were actually designed to function this way for some purpose that is no longer very useful for the applications they are most used for today. Sort of like how Phillips drive screw heads and screw drivers were actually deliberately designed to suck, but now that it is the most popular style of driver for most screws it we no longer need the “suck” feature, yet we are slow to adopt hex or Torx drivers instead… I think it was because Molex connectors were designed for airplanes, ICBMs, and other high-vibration, high-G environments. Obviously this is not a requirement in most civilian computers systems, so they should have picked a different connector. But beware that I may have dreamt up this factoid. You know how when you have a dream that seems so real and plausible that later, after waking, you aren’t sure if your memory is of something real or something from a dream? This is like that… but that fact about Philips being designed to suck is a totally real fact — I think.

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