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My serial ATA hard disk broke, so I want to replace it. The SATA drives I've seen online are very diverse in appearance, which makes me skeptical that they work identically. For example, The ports on this one and this one look very different.

Should I be looking for a specific type of SATA hard drive?

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Yup. Its standard as long as its the same from factor. For that matter 7mm and 9mm 2.5 inch drives, and 3.5 inch drives like that all share the same connector.

Just make sure its the right form factor to fit in the bay, but you should be fine otherwise.

If its a desktop, 2.5 inch (most SSDs are that!) would work with standard cables, though you may need an adaptor to fit it in a bay, or 3.5 inch drives would work.

For a laptop, thickness matters. A 7mm drive can replace a 9 mm drive with an optional shim, but not vice versa.

The connectors are identical.

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  • I love how the BigBox stores list drives in Desktop/Laptop format, instead of 3.5"/2.5". I think this is what leads to some people being confused. – NZKshatriya Nov 12 '16 at 16:18
  • There are desktop and server focused 2.5 inch drives with thicker z heights – Journeyman Geek Nov 13 '16 at 1:18
  • True there are different Z heights, but some laptops support drives with 12.5mm thickness, some with 9.5mm. So it's not entirely a server thing.....*lack of form factor standards gives me migranes* – NZKshatriya Nov 13 '16 at 22:52
  • There's thicker than 12.5mm drives too. I've seen 2.5 inch drives with the thickness of normal 3.5 inch drives – Journeyman Geek Nov 13 '16 at 23:00

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