PC Components

Where To Plug In SATA Cable on Motherboard

Sata Cable Motherboard

Are you struggling to see where to connect the SATA cable? It is a common and dangerous doubt. Because if you connect the cable to the wrong port, it might damage the device or the cable. But don’t worry, there is an easy fix.

Quick Answer

First, you will need to open up the PC. Then, locate the motherboard. Once there, analyze the type of SATA cable and SATA ports present. After identifying which port to use, take the SATA cable and insert it into the respective port. Close the PC, and your PC will automatically detect the storage device after the PC is turned on.

The cable on the PSU is usually an L-shaped cable. If that is not there, you can use a Molex cable that will need a Molex-SATA converter for connection.

In this blog, we will discuss in detail how to insert a SATA cable, what a SATA cable looks like to help in easy identification, and what these cables are.

What Is a SATA Cable?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment cables or SATA are special cables you can use to connect a storage device to the motherboard. 

The storage devices can be a hard drive, an optical drive, or a solid-state drive. Being relatively new, the exciting thing about the SATA cables is that, in some instances, they can be removed or attached even when the computer is running. 

Tip

Mainly, you will find two SATA cables; the SATA power cable and the SATA data cable. Their functions are the same as their names suggest; the SATA power cable is responsible for supplying power while the SATA data cable is used to transfer data.

How To Connect the SATA Cable

There are four steps to connecting the SATA cable. Let’s discuss them in detail one by one.

Step #1: Open the PC

  1. Turn off your PC.
  2. Open the side panel of the PC. You may need a screwdriver.
  3. Place the storage drive near an empty space within the case.

Step #2: Identify the Cables

The next step is to see the port on the storage device, which will help you insert the suitable cable into the respective port. 

Usually, there are two ports in any storage device, present in an L-shape. One is for the data port, while the other is for the power port. A common difference between the two is the port lengths.

You can identify them through the following characteristics.

SATA Data Port and Cable

  • SATA data port has seven pins.
  • SATA data port is shorter in length.
  • SATA data cable is a single, flat, and thick cable.

SATA Power Port and Cable

  • SATA power port has fifteen pins.
  • SATA data port is longer.
  • SATA power cable has five wires which may be colored or black.

You must also check the type of cable in the power supply. Either an L-shaped cable will come out of the PSU or a Molex cable. If it is the latter, you will also need a Molex-SATA connector

Tip

If you cannot locate a SATA power port on the storage device, it will most likely connect with a Molex cable.

Step #3: Make the Connection

This is the most straightforward step. All you have to do is align the L-shaped cable with the port and insert the cable into the port. The cable will only go in one way, so if it is not going in, you only need to invert it once. 

Step #4: Close the PC

Once you have connected the cables, close the case. Then, tighten the screws back into the holes (if any). Power up your PC, then a new storage device will be detected.

Conclusion

SATA cables help connect storage devices to the PC’s motherboard. You can make any connection within seconds if you know the difference between the two SATA cables and their respective ports. We hope that our blog was able to guide you through a streamlined process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between SATA power and Molex power?

Molex is an old technology used for the same case as the SATA Power cables. However, a Molex has only four wires and four pins on the port, and as for the SATA Power, it has fifteen pins and five wires

Can I use a SATA cable on a computer that doesn’t have a SATA connection port?

No, you cannot. To connect from a SATA cable to a PC with no SATA port, you will need a SATA to eSATA adaptor

Are PATA and SATA the same?

No, they are different. PATA was the older form of cable used in the older PCs. They had 40 pins on their connector and could not transfer data at a more significant speed.

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