On Christmas Eve, I decided then would be a good time to check and see if this spare hard drive worked. Sure enough, while putting that in my case, I heard a snap. The SATA cable to my SSD broke off and took part of the connector with it.
My initial reaction was to panic, despite having backups made. I wasn’t concerned about the data, but that I would have to buy a new SSD (expensive) and would be down for 2 entire days. I couldn’t afford either one, so I promptly brought out the gorilla glue, and… It didn’t work. Not at all. Instead, it left me having to scrape the dried goo off the pins. So that was out of the picture.
I tried again, this time lining up the pins on the connector and the cable perfectly, taping them together, and run the PC that way. To my surprise, it worked for 10 minutes before crashing entirely. This success with the tape led me to try making it work, but I ended up using an entire roll of tape in the process.
I had just about given hope when I saw my WD My Book hard drive. I had opened one up years ago and the “external” part of the drive is the USB port, case, and the power supply. The actual hard drive is any standard SATA drive. The SATA connector also was able to be held in place by the power connector also being fused to the data connector, this meant that I no longer needed to hope that my disk would continue working. I was skeptical, but sure enough, my Linux system booted without a hitch off the USB SSD, after which I ordered a real SSD SATA to USB adapter. A $300 problem solved with $13.