SATA plug melted!

SATA fire

I was making ISOs from some BD discs when I noticed a rather odd smell coming from my living room. Further investigation revealed that it was coming from my mediacentre PC that drives my projector.

The PC had shut down, and I assumed the PSU had died. But it turned out to be a Molex to SATA adapter that had caught fire and melted. Unfortunately it also wrote off the hard disk to which it was attached, since it destroyed the power socket. The PC had been running fine for the past three years without a hiccup.

A quick Google search revealed that this is actually quite common. It’s quite worrying that a little connector adaptor could have potentially burned my house down! Luckily the PSU had good short-circuit and overload protection and managed to shutdown before the whole PC burst into flames. Amazingly the PSU, motherboard, and all other components were perfectly fine once the hard disk had been replaced. I had to strip out everything from the case and clean out the bits of melted plastic and soot, and then rebuild the whole PC.

I certainly wont be using one of those Molex converters again. In fact I’m not even sure I trust SATA power connectors any more. They have always looked flimsy and had poor electrical contact areas. Not to mention they easily fall out if you so much as nudge a cable while putting the cover back on. Is this seriously the best they could come up with? But what else can you do?