Optical drive cable question, actually...


[H]F Junkie
Oct 4, 2004
A local friend of mine (who runs the tech shop in town) recently gave me a used ASUS Essentio CS5111. It had been determined that the system's board was toast, although I want to give it a second chance before I use the case for something else. It's a 775 box and from what I gather it can do some pretty good shit... if it boots...

I was given the case and mobo, the heatsinks, the optical drive, and the proprietary drive-power cable. I'm missing CPU and HDD, but those are non-proprietary components that I can source easily... however, I'm missing one elusive damned proprietary cable, and that's the IDE cable that goes from the motherboard to the optical drive. Normally that would be easy to fix, but ASUS decided to pull a Dell here and use some really wacky shit. I think they're too used to building netbooks and laptops.

It's an "FFC" cable -- I'm being redundant, the acronym stands for Flexible Flat Cable -- the thin white ribbon cables with the blue ends. I have NO idea how many leads/wires are inside that cable, I don't know the connector pitch (I can probably estimate it, though, should I need to), etc. I have no information here. My friend says that he can't find it, but "if I trip over it I'll let you know" which means it's gone.

I don't think I can call ASUS and say "hay gaiz a friend liek gave me one of your systems heres teh model can u send me a weird shit cable for it plzkthx" and get anything other than laughter... or the offer to pay for ship-it-to-us extended-warranty service that I don't want and can neither afford nor use.

Small parts (eg cables) are not available on eBay for this system at all, and the complete system or two that IS on eBay... is well out of my price range and would necessarily defeat the purpose of getting *this* one working with as few leftovers and excess parts/expenditures as possible...

I really do want/need that cable, since it's the only real way of using that drive in this system. Anyone have ideas...?
I wouldnt bother making much effort.
Dual Layer SATA DVD rewriters are so very cheap now, and modern drives will write all different types of disk including CDs.

I can get a drive for £12 in the UK from Ebuyer, they should be even less in the US.

If you have a standard IDE cable try that first.
One SATA connector (for a hard drive) unless I want the local shop to do what I can't... solder in a SATA connector and a whole shitload of little teeny SMT parts to make it work... after figuring out what values those teeny parts should have. No.

Also, the way the case is built, the drive has to be a slot-load model not a tray-load model... I can replace the drive for us$20 but that doesn't help me attach it, and I'm not willing to use an external when there's a perfectly good drive in the system that just needs one effing cable.

Standard IDE cables won't fit the connectors. It's not you know header pins with a plastic box around it. Think laptop keyboard connector... I can post photos of the two connectors (they're actually slightly different) if that helps.
No. That's for a laptop, this is an Essentio -- an SFF desktop.

I'll post pictures shortly...
Here's photos (as links)...

Mobo side (this one came out real shitty, sorry) --> http://i.imgur.com/FfzoS7u.jpg
You can't really see it in the photo but there's pins coming out both sides of that connector.
I'm beginning to think this isn't an FFC but an FPC -- flexible printed circuit... ugh...

ODD side (this pic is much better) --> http://i.imgur.com/1BXXdwm.jpg
I noticed tick marks every five pins on this one, so I was able to determine that it has 45 pins. The big bold letters either read "SL-ODD" or (more likely IMO) "3L-ODD".
First, determine if it boots. You won't need ODD for that. Also, just get a cheap external ODD if you really need it. I rarely use an ODD these days.
I want it complete first if I can do that.

I really hate the idea, as stated already, of using an external optical drive when there's a perfectly good one sitting inside the case as it is... hence wanting that cable...
I want it complete first if I can do that.

I really hate the idea, as stated already, of using an external optical drive when there's a perfectly good one sitting inside the case as it is... hence wanting that cable...

I get that, but if it doesn't boot - you've wasted money on a cable that can't be use elsewhere. Do you have a spare 775 cpu to test with?
I don't have the CPU yet, no. But I can probably borrow that from my friend.

I'm willing to waste shipping costs or thereabouts on this sort of thing... although you do have a point.

EDIT: I don't even have a PSU for this thing. 19v 6.32a (120w) according to the side of the case; brick-side connector is a 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD barrel plug. I can get the PSU from my friend for sure but he's gonna charge me $10 for it probably. [idea] that said, sometimes he lets me do stuff at his shop -- so maybe if I can get the CPU I can just bring it in and fsck with it at his place, no charge... maybe...
I still have relatives over and they are nagging me to take them here and there and everywhere so I'm way behind in answering some of your PMs starhawk. Will get cleared away with you later on tonight.

This ID is going to be very difficult without some really good pics but i think i may have found something already. did a quick google search and found a blurry pic of the mobo. Then ran a more detailed google image search and came up with this.


This was a cached image from an ebay auction that is no longer valid.

Led to an auction on ebay by the vendor below. the auction is no longer live but it might be in your best interest to try contacting them to see if they sold it or not. sometimes they may have just dropped the auction due to lack of interest.

Here is their ebay store page
^^ no luck with that man. when i went to click on the auction, it redirected me to more products for the CS5111.
No worries, I forgot about the whole "you can contact them not-about-an-item" thingy that eBay gives you.

Messaged 'em, waiting for a response.
Can't tell... but I'm quite sure it's 45 pins on the end that has the DVD burner.
Called ASUS on a lark. Got bounced from product support to mobo support to product support to the eStore.

No cable to be found anywhere.

Oh well.
It is, I've removed it and there's the standard 50pin JAE connector underneath. I'm not wanting to test the drive, though -- I'm wanting to use it with the desktop.
Wow, this is a pain in the ass to get an ODD working...I can only imaging the frustration you're feeling. WTF was Asus thinking? Especially since there are provisions for two more SATA ports on the motherboard that went unused! :mad:
Yep. And they both need a quartet of SMT resistors in order to function... resistors of unknown value (at least right now) and that are so tiny it makes grains of rice feel quite large in comparison ;) can't ask my friend to do that -- it's just too difficult to solder stuff that tiny...

The other doozy I'm going to have in (re)testing this -- in addition to the missing CPU, PSU, and that friggin cable -- is that the NB HSF is held down with M3 screws like for notebook HDDs. I'm gonna have fun with that... I don't think I have four... maybe, but I dunno.
Gee willikers Batman, that's one high price!

...but it's the right part...

But look what I just found :D --> http://www.ebay.com/itm/180991747738

That happens also to be the right part... /five/ of the right part -- for us$2.55 (EUR 1.85 or GBP 1.52) !! Of course it comes by sampan but I really don't think I care...

EDIT: bought 'em. Yay! oh -- and that basically means /thread. I'll beg for the other stuff elsewhere :p
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