• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question Sata power lead lead problem


Junior Member
Aug 3, 2020
Hello folks ,
New member here from Ireland .
I found the forum as result of a question as to what the orange cable is for on a sata power lead in a pc.
My problem is that I am working on a PC that has 4 sata data connections on the motherboard but only two sata power connectors on the power lead , one with the orange wire and one without .
It also has a molex connector that is unused . When I connected a molex to twin sata adapter and added an SSD drive the system would not start up at all . However when I disconnected the sata power connectors the CPU fan came on when I switched it on.
Luckily I had another power supply which had 4 sata power connectors so I swapped out the original power supply for it and all is now working , Dvd ROM , original hard drive and new SSD drive .
The only difference that I could see was the absence of the orange lead , which another poster here has said is for 3.3v so I am now wondering does my ssd drive need 3.3v and that is the reason that I had issues with the molex to twin sata adapter .
It would be good to know going forward so anyone with the answer to this , I would really appreciate your input .
Kind regards
Stephen Hill.


Aug 25, 2001
Was the PC with 4 SATA data connectors on the mobo, but only two SATA power leads, were those power leads coming off of the PSU, or the mobo?

Because those proprietary mobos with SATA power coming off of the mobo are quite frankly a bit weird to me. I don't like them, not at all.

Much prefer PSUs with SATA power leads coming off of the PSU.

As for what happened in your case, I'm not sure. It seems possible that the SATA power splitter, was simply defective or shorting something out, and therefore the PSU was in a failsafe mode and not powering up, so as not to cause a fire.

The orange lead on a SATA power connector is indeed for 3.3V, which virtually nothing uses, so in the newest SATA revisions (used by larger SATA HDDs, 6TB and up), that lead is actually a "drive disable" signal, that will keep the drive powered off.

Like I said, I'm not sure exactly what happened in your case, but it sounds like you arrived at the best solution: replacing the PSU outright, with one with the proper number of power leads for the job.