I want to have a toggle switch to toggle between two hard disk drives. Only one should be connected at any given time.

The best possible solution for what I want to achieve is to toggle the power supply to the hard drives. I cant find any 5PDT switches but 4PDT switches are available.

Can I connect both GND wires in a SATA power cable or will that cause problems?

A 5-stacked rotary wafer switch would be an alternative but I would prefer to use a toggle switch. In case you know where to find 5PDT switches, that would help too.

To clarify: I want two boot drives in my desktop system (so no hotswap, system will be turned off and taking off the side panel to get to the drivebay is no practical solution)

For some reason, it is problematic to get into the BIOS on my system. I usually need 2-3 tries. therefore I want an easier solution with a hardware switch on the outside.

I was thinking about using Molex - Sata adapters, but theres the saying "molex to sata lose your data" so I was worried about that.

I thought the best way to achieve my goal is by disconnecting power to the drive while the system is turned off. Since only one of the drives should be connected at any given time, I thought a switch on the case would solve that problem.

Since I for now will use harddrives I already have, but might upgrade to SSDs, I would prefer a solution that works in general, not only for certain drives.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ > The best possible solution for what I want to achieve is to toggle the powersupply to the Harddrives. No, that's not a solution at all, since you can't multiplex (not realistically) a SATA data cable. So, do what everyone else would: do it in software. If this is about boot order (I bet it's about boot order), UEFI makes that easy since... 20 years now. You can select from which device the computer boots the next time. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also why do you need so many poles? Drives mainly use 5V and 12V, they rarely need 3.3V anyway and grounds do not need to be disconnected. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:34
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this an XY Problem? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian Bland
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @IanBland certainly sounds like one! Hope Freddy comes around to explaining what they intend to achieve with this. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe you could try this: coolgear.com/product/… or maybe this: performance-pcs.com/case-parts-mods/bay-hardware/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 4 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


XY problem.

Easy way: get a 2-bay drive enclosure, and pull out the drive you don't want to mount. Some of these enclosures even support live hot-plug, which sounds a lot like what you're trying to accomplish.

Light effort: choose drives that require only 12V, and use a SPDT switch to select which one gets 12V power (hack it into a 2-drive "Y" power cable.) This won't necessarily hurt the drive, but yanking power suddenly could leave the drive with a corrupted file system if it isn't cleanly unmounted first. Yes, this uses 2 SATA ports. There's no problem with having SATA connected to a powered-down drive. More here: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/82086-build-your-own-sata-hard-drive-switch/2

Don't bother: mechanical switch on SATA signals. Bad idea; it's a signal integrity nightmare.


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