New parts, hopefully received a non-fatal lesson

First attempt at booting. gets to the bios and all is well. Time to install my drives from previous machine. Connect everything up and notice I’m missing sata power for the two drives. No problem, I’ll just take the old machine’s psu power cable and use that, surely it’ll be fine

Second boot, drives recognized, boot to Linux, all seems well aaaand computer shuts down. Looking down I see smoke rising from the computer. I quickly flip the psu switch and disconnect the cable. As I touch the sata cables(not the power cables), I notice they’re hot. I disconnect everything and concede the evening. Quick search on mixing psu cables gives me this

So I’m wondering, is there anything I should take into consideration when tackling this again tomorrow? Should I ditch the hot sata cables?
I did try to boot the PC again after with the sata cables disconnected and luckily it does get to the bios. Still not sure if that’s an indicator that I was lucky enough that nothing was fried (the drives are a question mark still I guess).

Apologies for the long vent.

  1. Throw away the sata data cables that got hot. they are useless and compromised now
  3. Re-read #2
  4. Re-read #1
  5. Pray nothing else is dead

Now that is out of the way, even using modular cables from the same BRAND PSU is risky, as it might be the same name and model, but made by a different manufacturer as most PSU companies use SuperFlower and a couple others to actually produce the product.

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So you swapped the modular PSU sata power cable from one power supply to another?

If I’m correct then yes you can absolutely kill your PC. See how the power connector carries 3.3v, 5v, and 12 volts and other connections? See the wires coming out on the image? When you use a random modular PSU cable you won’t know if you’ve accidentally connected 3.3v to your power supplies 12volt or whatever.

You can buy a SATA power splitter and save yourself making a silly mistake next time.

Then how am I suppose to differentiate which aftermarket cables I can use?

If you mean extender ( or splitter ) cables, then as long as they fit the cable from the psu it’s fine.
Or if the 3rd party certifies that the cable will work with the output of a specific psu.
Custom sleeved psu cables will be either one of those ( extender or compatible with your psu ).

I see.

On the one hand, I feel stupid for not checking this beforehand. On the other, I feel that for someone who doesn’t tinker with hardware regularly, it’s a fair assumption that power cables would be standardized across modular psus to avoid such mistakes (if there’s some nitty gritty details about why standardizing that wouldn’t work, I’d genuinely like to hear it).

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I completely 100% agree it is stupid this is not standardized across manufacturers. There is more or less no reason not to do so for these companies, except it will require a rewire of the PSU, which… Weeeeell… is a thing that happens once for all products and then the standard is in place.

Right now shit is as bad as it gets and will only get worse if nothing is done. Modular PSUs are a great idea and in the future internal power cables could come with your case rather than your PSU even - if a standard exists. This could lead to cost cutting across the board for the PSU manufacturers in the long run.

So, as a consumer I don’t give a flying #%! if it’s the Seasonic, EVGA or Silverstone standard. Just freakin’ give us ONE. Flip a coin and use Seasonic standard for PCIe, Silverstone for SATA and EVGA for main power delivery. Or something.

Sorry about rant, needed to get that out somewhere. Carry on!

I agree. I always assumed the pinouts were a standard considering how important a PSU is to a system. Then I learned they can be different and never understood why not. This is the one thing that NEEDS to be standardized across PSU’s, considering there’s only a few actual manufacturers that all the brands go to to have the product actually produced.

I’m wondering, do I need to be wary of connecting the drives themselves? I want to check if they’re dead or not so I’m thinking of connecting them without the old sata cable of course.

Update: Somehow everything survived, both drives are reporting 96% and 99% health on crystal disk and all the hardware seem to pass benchmarks without a hitch.

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They probably should be. When modular power supplies started to become a thing and before I started to use them myself I thought they’d have a SATA like connection on the PSU itself instead of the molex connectors they all seem to use. Its probably just cheaper to do it the current way and nobody has complained hard enough about it to change the anything goes way of doing this.

Just to show you what I imagined sometimes embedded systems, thin clients, HTPC, and all in one will have a SATA power connector directly on the the board because the system is designed for use with an external power supply so no SATA power from the PSU. I really thought that kind of a standardized connection would be on your power supply and modular wouldn’t just mean I have a box of of practically useless wires for power supplies I’ll never tinker around with.