this message was meant to be a reply to my previous one titled "Broken SATA connector". i appologize.
i may not have been too clear, so let me try to explain it another way. there is the molded plastic piece, shaped like a long 'L', with the metal connections along the inside of it, that acts as a key so that the SATA cable can only be connected the correct way. that piece is gone. what can i do?
if it is any help, the drive is an 80gb SATA150 Hitachi DeskStar 7K250.