a mod saying noobness and not referring to a noob, wow
I guess the cable powers the drive...
The Drive is powered by the 360, and linked to pc via a sata, only not all onboard sata connections work I had to buy a card with sata ports on to get my drive recgonised. Just hope your drive isnt a liteon 9x like mine was its a (edit) to do!
I flashed a benq (power sourced via the XBox and used a SATA cable to my PC). I had to disconnect/reconnect the power line in quick fashion in order to get it recognized/into vendor mode (this is in the jungle flasher manual). I didn't have to do that screwy thing you mention.
There's a new tool to make all of this easier, apparently you won't even need to connect the drive to a computer, called the Lizard.
Xbox 360 - Flashing Tools - Maximus Gaming - 360 Maximus Lizard - New Gen Xbox 360 Drive Tool (Powered by CubeCart)
There's also a new one coming out that will allow you to cennect it to your computer via USB.
Xbox 360 - Flashing Tools - Team Xecuter - Xecuter X360USB PRO (Powered by CubeCart)
I know nothing about either of these tools, but hope they might be of interest.