I obtained a bunch of older, but working 30GB PATA SSD drives. Since I couldn't use PATA to connect them where I wanted them, I bought a PATA to SATA converter on eBay. It worked fine with standard magnetic drives, but not with these SSDs.

pata2sata interface

I decided to open up the drives and take a look. The drives contain a JMF601 SATA SSD and a JM20330 SATA to PATA converter. The datasheet for the first chip is not available, however for the second it is. Using it, I could identify the 4 SATA data lines running between both chips.

The idea before me was simple:

  • remove SATA to PATA chip
  • wire the 4 SATA data lines from the inside (on board) to outside

Would it work? In short, yes, quite well actually.

What you need:

  • a hot air station to remove the SATA to PATA chip
  • something to protect other components around the chip from hot air (kapton tape)
  • thin lacquered wire for PCB repair (can be obtained from small transformers)
  • elite soldering skills

pata2sata step 1 pata2sata step 2 pata2sata step 3

The 3 pictures outline the basic steps:

  • protect other components from hot air
  • desolder SATA to PATA chip
  • wire the SATA lines to outside

The last step is extremely delicate as the pads where the chip was mounted are tiny. Keep the wires (both on board and the cut SATA cable) as short as possible. The very last step it to provide power that was previously carried by the PATA cable (white and blue wires on the left). I have done this on 4 drives. They all work.

Do not try this on drives you can't afford to lose. Good luck!