General discussion

USB Connector issue

Nov 15, 2007 10:30AM PST


I have an external USB DVD/CD writer from DELL(PD01S). It is a USB device which has additional port as power source also.

Now my past laptop (Dell Latitude 400) which had that type of dual USB port to connect this external dvd writer is no more there and the new laptop does not have that dual power usb port to connect dvd writer.

Can someone please advise me how to hook up this DVD writer with my new laptop...some kind of USB converter to convert dual port to single port or some kind of connector.

Hope I am able to explain my problem well enough to seek your help.

Thanks and Regards

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Since this laptop has only one USB port....
Nov 15, 2007 10:37AM PST

The fix is to use your CardBus and slip in some USB card there. Here's one ->

I'm sure there are others out like that.

In closing, it will do no good to find a "cable from one USB to two USB connections." As such I will not respond if asked if a cable will do.


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Wrong answer bob
Nov 24, 2007 9:22PM PST

You did not understand the question so no reply is warranted. I have been looking for the same kind of (adapter or connector ) for some time. This is a single (1) port that has dual capabilities.It looks like a USB Male with another connector (the power supply) mounted to it. I haven't seen or found one for it, but i'll let you know(wonder_boyz) if i find a work around or something.

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Wrong wrong wrong.
Nov 24, 2007 9:29PM PST

Sorry, I understand your issue just fine. I do realize you don't want to fix it in the normal ways.

Let me be real blunt. Any second year electronics student could whip up another solution. I do not expect you to find it on some shelf for you to plug in.

As such the real fix is to get the right number of ports or find someone near you that is electronically inclined.

How do I know this? I not only own something similar to your devices but am an electronics designer. If you were my neighbor and didn't piss me off I would make the item for you.


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Mabe I am....
Nov 25, 2007 10:06PM PST

I could see cutting (or snipping) the plug in half to seperate the USB from the power (if thats what it is) to plug up the USB connector.
I can't find any spech's on it to tell.

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Yes you could do that but...
Nov 25, 2007 10:25PM PST

The issue is simple. While there is a +5V on the USB port and it's documented well (see the internet) it's usually beyond what most owners will be willing to do. Let's face it, not many own a solder iron, less will use it even if they owned it.

More about the USB +5V. It has a power limit of 500mA so this is why you see those cables with a 2 to 1 feature. This way they can get 1.0A total. Let's say you wired your 2 heads into 1. It wouldn't work because the one port will only deliver 500mA.

-> This is why I think some PC-Card is the right answer here.


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Thanks but what is the final verdict
Nov 26, 2007 1:41AM PST

Thanks Guys for all your insights into this issue but pls advise where do we go from here?

I am sure you all are expert in this field so please let us know what is the doable solution to this issue?

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Can't do that. Why?
Nov 26, 2007 4:47AM PST

I checked this discussion and all I read was "new laptop." No make plus model so I couldn't research if there was another connector to siphon another +5V from.

For now, the USB PC-Card is the solution.


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Dell external DVD PD01S
Dec 1, 2008 12:26PM PST

Do I understand well that all that double connector does is a duplicate USB connection, the second one of which is there only to provide another 500 mA at 5V? If it is this case, then I could connect a standard 5V power supply, capable of supplying 500mA to the second connector and the external DVD would work on any USB device? The data flow cannot possibly go by both USBs, I believe. If this is the case, which of the two USBs is the second one? The smaller, narrower connector?

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Dangerous move.
Dec 1, 2008 10:19PM PST

I design electronics and what you propose carries with it a danger of frying parts. If you want to supply power, get the USB case for the drive that allows or comes with said power supply.

I will not endorse your solution.

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continuing question
Dec 3, 2008 5:14AM PST

Hi Bob,

Thanks for answering. Unfortunately I did not understand your answer. I bought an external DVD, a Dell PD01S, very cheap, with a ?funny? connector, hoping that I would find out how to put it to work. It seems that the ?funny? connector is a double USB, and that the only reason to double it was the power limitation of the USB, limited to 500 mA. If one of the two connectors is there only to provide 5 V at 500 mA max, then why an external power supply would not do what this connector brings in?

But I do not have to do as I thought in doing it when I discovered that it may be that the connector is split for power reasons. I could implement your solution, but what do you mean by ?[getting] the USB case for te drive that allows or comes wit said power supply?? The DVD drive I bought came in a box which has a single cable out which ends on a ?funny? connector, one part of it is recognizably a USB, the other part, also four contacts, nothing that I recognize. The DVD is itself easily detachable from the box just pulling a lever then pulling the unit out. Is there another box for sale, perhaps with a power supply to plug on the wall and a standard, one USB connector? Thanks for helping me Bob. As for my electronics skills, I can put together a power supply and cut wires to reroute whatever is needed to another connector, soldering, etc. Thanks again.

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Your choice here.
Dec 3, 2008 5:59AM PST

If I wasn't clear here it is again -> I wouldn't do that.

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Dec 3, 2008 12:17PM PST

Thanks, but I will - as soon as I either: (1) find out what is in the second connector (lower, not marked with the USB logo on the computer), or (2) can get my hands on one computer with that connector to measure what is there. I can let you know the result, if you want. BTW, if you know what is in that lower connector and is willing to tell me I would greatly appreciate. Thanks again Bob

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Your Dell PD01S Connector Problem and "Harvard-on-the-Hudson
Dec 10, 2008 7:10AM PST

Hello Sergio,
I have the same dilemma as you and came here looking for help. I also have the Dell PD01S, it is in brand new condition, it works perfectly, I want to use it, yet I cannot plug it into my new ASUS 'Eee PC' Netbook (which, of course, has several USB ports but no optical drive). Although 'Bob' didn't respond in the friendliest of ways, I see his point - this scenario does not look like the place for 'cannibalization' unless you really get desperate. Please, let's let each other know if we find a 'cleaner' solution. BTW: If, by some strange chance, you are the same Sergio, then you were my Prof at Hudson Valley in the LEOT Program 24 years ago!
Kindest Regards,

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Link to Dell D/Bay Connector Pinout Diagram
Dec 10, 2008 7:26AM PST


Please go to the very bottom of the page at:

Now, if you decide to cannibalize, at least you have the Pinouts!

My understanding is that this is a proprietary Dell connector for Dell external devices used only in a few Dell laptops (and their docking stations) which did not have an internal optical drive...


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Possible, but labor intensive, solution if u have the parts
Dec 10, 2008 8:26AM PST

Hi Sergio,
If you had an old working Dell Docking Station (such as the Dell Model PR01X with a Dell Model PA-10 AC Power Adapter) you could "conceivably" get inside the (unplugged) docking station and (if they are accessible) separate the USB pinout connections from the D/Bay connector (on the inside of the docking station) and connect them to a USB cable with its unneeded end cut off, keeping track of the wires and pinouts (check continuity!). Thus, you would use the USB portion of the D/Bay receptacle on the docking station as a "pass-through" and connect the plug end of your modified cable to your laptop's USB receptable. This gives you the data transfer path when you plug the plug of your D/Bay otical drive into the docking station. As for the power side of the D/Bay connector, just leave those connections alone, and the proper power will be provided to your external optical drive when the docking station is powered up by the AC power adapter. Triple-check your pinouts, continuity, solder joints, do shrink wrap to keep wires from touching, etc, etc, so that you don't FRY your expensive laptop! Currently, I do not see another way around, but be careful in your work! I have not tried this myself yet, but will give it a 'look-see' regarding the 'doability' tonight. BTW, did you notice that the optical drive slides out of the "Bay" by depressing then pulling on the 'T-handle' on the lower right front of the drive? (not that it helps any...)

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Solution Found. (and it's a clean one, too!)
Dec 10, 2008 6:45PM PST

Okay, so here is what I did last night: Upon opening the docking station, realized that the D/Bay connector is hard soldered onto a printed circuit card (of course), so no way to "break in" to the data transfer path there. So, what I did was to cut the cable of the external DVD drive in half - that left me wires long enough to separate, strip back, 'ring-out' (to correlate wire color to pinout), shrink-sleeve, and solder to. Then, onto the cable end still attached to the DVD drive, I soldered the cable I just cut off back on, but only connecting the wires relating to pins 5/6/7/8/9 (the "power-side" of the D/Bay connector). Then I took a 6' USB cable, cut one end off, checked pinout/wire assignments, and soldered the appropriate wires to the remaining four wires on the DVD-drive cable which originally were for the "USB-side" of the D/Bay connector (pins 1/2/3/4). Here is the pinout diagram again, bottom of this page:
After insulating all connections and taping it up, I now had a two-connector cable on the DVD-drive. I plugged the D/Bay connector into the docking station for power and the USB connector into the ASUS Netbook computer for data transfer. Clean Solution. Fortunately, I bought a Netbook that runs Windows XP, so finding drivers for the DVD-drive wasn't a problem (it's only 3 years old). Just so you know, I did this so that I can install software from CD's that I already have, like MS Office 2003PE and such... it's clunky because of the need for the docking station for power, but it gets the job done for the few times that I will need an optical drive on my new Netbook! Take care, all... and Sergio - if you really are my old Prof, shoot me an e-mail to so that we can 'catch-up' on the past 24 years!

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D/ Bay connetcter
Oct 31, 2011 8:26AM PDT

Hi, i am jayanth, even i have dvd pd01s and same problem have you got any solution for

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Dell D-Bay USB Adapter Power Cable Fix
Aug 11, 2010 5:49AM PDT

You can take apart a spare D-Bay and connect an old laptop power supply 19.5v (just like it says on the d-bay case) at least 2.8A output - laptop supply gives 3.34A. Use a meter to make sure and get polarity right since this is DC power. Positive on red, one black is shield/ground other is negative. Pretty it up by soldering and tie a knot in the ac power cable. Then you plug your power in and use a usb extension cable to plug into the other half of the dport connector hanging off the drive bay. Then you can use your drive via usb on any pc. In other words, 1/2 of the connector is regular usb, the other just provides 19.5v and at least 2.8A.

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(NT) Hi the voltage on that p.s. is 5v dc
Sep 30, 2011 8:26AM PDT
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Feb 20, 2011 1:24PM PST

another solution which might be simpler but to split the connector in half...the funny connection to your laptop that accepts and the other half into the laptop you want to install your usb, of course this requires 2 laptop on for the extra power and the other one which you are going to install it in for the the way that bob guy is a knuckle head...if he could make it he would have also as an engineer he would of thought of this simple solution...hope his not over paid where he works!

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Oct 31, 2011 8:23AM PDT

Hi, i am jayanth, even i have dvd pd01s and same problem have you got any solution for

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If it's the power issue noted above. Another solution.
Oct 31, 2011 8:36AM PDT
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Here's how to do it...
Dec 8, 2011 12:37AM PST

Four small holes in the sides, slide a paperclip-pin or a tiny screwdriver through there to open the housing up.
Don't forget the three screws in the bottom of which one is obscured by a rubber thingy.

When you've opened it up, you'll see this

More pics of the PCB:


Capacitor C25 location:
The switching powersupply that converts the 19.5V to 5V:

Adding an extra powerinput:

Measuring what does what:

The big step... the point of no return:

And will the 12V switching 1A powersupply I have lying around:
(A) work at all due to the 12V instead of 19.5V voltage? and
(B) be able to supply enough current as the whole unit is rated at 19.5V 2.8A (that's insane! especially since the DVD player itself is rated at 5V 2.8A, so 4 times less...)?
Yes. Typical draw is what you see here. With the peakhold function of my multimeter, I got a little more (between 0.5 and 0.6A iirc).

Then I discovered a flaw in my design: power stays on when USB is unplugged, so I made an adaptation that the external power is switched by a miniature relay by the USB-voltage:

Some remarks: I first tried to supply the secondary side of the switching powersupply with 5V, but this shorts out (I tried it with a current limited powersupply and I turned it up to 1.5A and stopped there because I was afraid to fry anything).
As for the difference in supply voltage: it works, so who cares Happy But on a more serious note: switching powersupplies work, as said, by switching something. It measures what voltage it makes/needs/puts_out and switches whatever voltage it gets on the incoming side so the outgoing voltage stays what it is supposed to be (5V in this case). The incoming voltage will not be that important in most designs (within limits...) as long as it is not lower than the outgoing voltage.

If you decide to follow my lead and change your PD01S to external power and USB, you do so at your own risk. I can and will not guarantee that it will work in your case, nor do I accept any responsibility if you hurt yourself while doing so.

Good luck!

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Maybe some clarification...
Dec 8, 2011 12:47AM PST

Hmm, maybe I should have added that you simply wire up a USB plug plus wire to the brown-white-green-yellow wires (red-brown, gree-green, white-white and black-yellow, but if you hadn't figured this out, maybe this isn't the job for you...).

5,6,7,8 and 9 don't have to be hooked up to let the thing work!!!

The powerplug near the switching power supply needs the external voltage: just black and red, the shielding of that wire is shorted to ground anyway.

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USB Connector issue
Dec 9, 2011 4:30AM PST

thank for ur steps....... u have shown me only power how to connect USB

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Dec 10, 2011 5:08AM PST

I figured that out after posting...

I replied to my own thread making this a little clearer as I haven't found out how to edit my own posts.

I measured the connector with 9 pins inside the housing: the white is the same as the white inside a USB-wire/connector. The green is the same as the green inside a USB wire/connector. Then you only need the yellow (needs to be hooked up to the ground or black wire in the USB-wire/connector) and the brown (needs to be hooked up to the red or +5V wire in the USB-wire/connector) and you are good to go, provided you hooked up an external powersupply of between 12* and 20*V to the three-pin connector near the internal switching powersupply.

The remaining 5 wires are, strangely enough, not needed for the operation of the PD01S...

* I say between 12 and 20V because I have verified that this works, but the range you can use may be bigger

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remaining wires
Mar 19, 2013 9:10PM PDT

Hi, I have the same problem with PD01S, and I tried thee above solution. Although power side seems to be working just fine, computer cannot find the optical drive. Then I stumbled upon this:
So, my question is: Is it really possible to make it work? If so, What did I do wrong?

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remaining wires fix
Feb 20, 2014 8:13PM PST


I had exactly the same issue. I figured out that it is enough to connect those wires together (smbdat, smbclk and #modpres). Even though they are not used, you cannot leave them dangling.
You can check some pics of my hack below:

Before connecting the wires drive was not recognized even though there was power supply and the disc was spinning a little bit.
Hope this helps. And oh, I'm not taking responsibility for any damages Happy


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Here's how to do it ..
Jun 16, 2012 4:04AM PDT

Thanks for your post R-P.

Your positive instructions lead the way and worked a treat.

4 wires Usb connection 5v D- D+ 0v (brown,white,green.yellow)
2 wires Power supply connection 19v 0v (red,black)
3 wires unused (purple,blue,orange)

I also connected a 12v supply (to red,black) and the drive worked with that. It draws less than 0.5amp.

My daughter now has a DVD drive for her laptop.

Many thanks again


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The dvd rom is removeable
Feb 6, 2013 7:48AM PST

Just buy a cheap caddy that will fit. Make sure it comes with cords for power and usb.

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