Sata Adapters

Submitted by dave on Thu, 08/03/2017 - 19:04

SATA adapters for your assembly:

Most all retail packaged SATA devices that are made to install into a computer assembly as an upgrade will usually have a Molex to SATA adapter included.


Most manufactures know this might go into an older case as an upgrade and may not have SATA connectors from the existing power supply.

Pictured to the left is just a type of adapter.

Some will have longer wires, some may even have multiple connectors. Like one Molex to two or more SATA.

Careful when buying parts for your assembly.

A less expensive type of part is called OEM.

The reason for this is these parts are intended only for the assembly of new machines and the person doing the assembly is expected to know what's needed and have the connecting parts on hand.

So if your trying to save money by buying OEM listed parts don't expect it to come with anything more than the part you bought and mounting hardware, and I've even received some that didn't have mounting hardware included.

Both the power and data connectors are made to plug in one way only and most will have some king of guide to insure that.

As you can see above the Molex cable assembly has a rounded top and the SATA cable assembly has grooves inside so that the connector can only fit one way so don't force it. 

Molex connecting pins are notorious for not staying straight inside the plastic and you may have to do a bit of jiggling to get the white plastic plug to go all the way into the socket.

Don't force it you may need to use an object like a short piece of wire clothes hanger to poke into the white plastic plug and straighten out the pin that's inside it.

SATA connectors are more cooperative.
Looking at the end of the wire connection and the socket on the drive you can see each has a type of L look to it as shown here.

Sata connector close up.
Sata connector close up.

Just make sure the end of each match up and plug in the wire to the device.

Both the power and the data connector look a lot alike. The main visible difference is the data cable connector is smaller than the power connector.

Types of data connectors for your assembly:
The older style ATA, IDE devices use a wide ribbon connector that's really 34 wires side by side that carry the data from the device to the motherboard.


If your putting a computer together from old computers and parts you will probably come across one of these sooner or later.

This ribbon will usually (on the better quality ones) have a ridge that sticks up on the top side of the ribbon connector.
The socket that the ribbon connector goes into will have a slot that the ridge fits into when inserted correctly.

If there is no notch on either side of the ribbon connector you have then check the ribbon edges one edge wire will be red. This is your number one wire.

If you look carefully (probably need a light and magnifying glass to see it) on the circuit board where the ribbon socket is you will see one end has a number one on it and quite often the numbers 1 and 2 will be sitting on top of each other.

This is the end that the red side of the ribbon connects into.
These pins the ribbon plugs into are very easily bent so be careful when inserting.

A newer style that's much better for air flow is a rounded EIDE cable.


This rounded cable makes it easier to tie out of the way so you can get a better air flow inside the case assembly.

Finishing your computer assembly.

If you have installed more than one hard drive then disconnect all but the one that's going to be your operating system drive as explained in the hard drive section of this tutorial.

You can do this by just disconnecting either the data or the power connector on each of the storage only drives, you don't have to disconnect both wires.

At this point you should have your motherboard with CPU and CPU fan and memory installed.

The hard drive that's going to hold your operating system on it installed along with one DVD/CD drive installed.

That's all you need at this point in your computer assembly, your going to check it out to make sure the basics is working.

Also at this point you should have all case fans hooked up except for the one that's attached to the side panel you have removed to install everything.

If you bought a motherboard that didn't come with on-board graphics (not advised by the way for any assembly except gaming assembly.) then you will also have to install the graphics card before you do the test.

If your power supply came with a switch next to the power cord socket then make sure it's turned off. That will be the side with an O on it usually with a dot in the middle of it.

Make sure that side is pressed down.
The other side with a - or ~ is the on side this will be in the up position when the switch is turned off.

Now plug in the keyboard the mouse the monitor and then plug in the power cord.

The side panel of your computer should still be off so you can see everything when you turn it on.