When installing an SSD or any SATA-powered device into a desktop, you may potentially run into the scenario where the power supply does not have the appropriate SATA power connections to power your drive. Molex to SATA adapter cables are a very simple and cost-effective alternative to buying a new power supply, but they can be a dangerous alternative to getting a quality power supply, potentially damaging your SSD, internal components, and may also pose a fire risk in your home.
In the event that you have an older power supply unit (PSU), which does not have these cables, or you’ve already used them all for existing devices, you’re left with two options: 1) You can purchase an additional PSU that has a larger quantity of SATA power connections, or 2) You can purchase a SATA to Molex power adapter cable.
Below is an example of a Molex to SATA adapter. They’re inexpensive and they can use an existing Molex power connector to power any SATA device. In these adapters, a lack of proper shielding can allow an electrical arc to jump between the black (ground) and either the 5.5V red or 12V yellow line. When this happens, the plastic between the lines is known to melt and catch on fire, and you essentially have your very own tesla coil going off in your computer.
Since the power is being diverted to the ground line, power supplies respond as if it’s something in the computer drawing power, and safety mechanisms in the PSU will not trigger. It isn’t until the arc jumps over to another voltage line, or causes significant damage in the adapter, that a power supply will shut off. This could potentially cause a fire outside the case.
The three-year limited manufacturer warranty on Crucial SSDs does not cover environmental damage like this. That is why it is important to use a quality power source for any SSD you install, otherwise, you could be left with the dreadful prospect of having to pay for the damage and the loss of potentially priceless data.