USB to SATA Adapter From a Shucked EasyStore

25 June 2019

Shucking is where you pull hard drives out of consumer USB hard drives, like the WD EasyStore. You can usually get drives significantly cheaper than the sticker price this way, albeit without any warranty.

After shucking an EasyStore, I was left with the PCB that does the USB to SATA conversion. SATA hard drives take both 5V and 12V to drive the motor inside, and the PCB takes a 12V barrel jack input that it then steps down 5V. I wanted to use these adapters with SSDs, which don’t need the 12V rail, but since the 5V rail is derived from the barrel jack input, I still needed to plug in the power supply to use it.

By jumping the 5V from the USB input to the SATA 5V pin, I was able to bypass the power circuitry and use SSDs without the power supply plugged in.

PCB with wire jumping USB power to SATA power