Nope, most SSDs or HDDs for that matter don’t come with SATA cables, at least not the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version.
Usually, you receive about two to four SATA cables with your motherboard. However, if you own a pre-built PC, it makes sense why you didn’t receive any SATA cables.
Want to make sure if the equipment you’re buying comes with cables or not? Easy. Read the label. If it doesn’t explicitly mention anything about including a cable, there won’t be any cable.
Spare yourself the trouble and order a bunch of SATA cables with your SSD. Or make a trip to your nearest computer store for the same.
Having trouble figuring out what SATA data cable will be compatible with your SSD? Let me help.
What SATA Cable to Use for SSD?
Ideally, you should go with SATA III-standard cables for lightning-fast transmission rates (up to 6GB). You will also need a SATA power cable which is already attached to the power supply unit of your system.
Can’t find SATA power cable? That’s totally cool. Look inside the computer case and find the power supply unit.
Now, what if the SATA power cable has been damaged due to power outage or putting extra pressure while trying to connect the SSD? It has happened to me and you know what I did? I simply bought a new cable.
However, do remember that you can’t use just any power cable with your PSU. You have to make sure that the power cable plug is specifically designed for your PSU model.
That’s because different power supplies, even from the same brand, may include different wire configurations and PSU pinouts. So before replacing the stock cables, make sure to check the cable compatibility.
How to Install an SSD with SATA Cable – Easy Step-by-Step Guide
Got the SATA cable, finally? Let’s get to the SSD installation part quickly then. Here are the steps-
- Shut down your PC
- Open the case and take out the motherboard and power supply.
- Locate the motherboard’s SATA ports (most modern mobos have minimum 6 ports) and hard disk bays.
- Plug in the L-shaped side of the SATA cable to one of the SATA ports.
- Connect the other side of the cable to your SSD. Nice and simple!
- Next, move on to your PSU. You will see a bunch of cables coming out of it. Choose the one with an L notch on the plug (the same you can notice on the SATA cable plug as well).
- Connect the power cable to the SSD and install it to the drive bay.
- Put the case back on.
Now, turn your computer on and go to File Explorer. You will not see the SSD there and that’s okay. Follow my lead-
- Click on Start, then on Disk Management.
- A window will open. Scroll down to find “Disk 2” (Unallocated).
- Right click on Unallocated, then click on New Simple Volume.
- Follow the Simple Volume Wizard.
- Click Next.
- Make partitions if you want to or skip. Click Next.
- Assign the drive as drive E. Click Next.
- Change the volume label name to “ SSD”. Click Next.
- Click on Finish.
The Unallocated drive will begin to format. Once you see the “SSD (E:)” pop-up, close that window. Now go to the File Explorer and you should be able to see the SSD (E:). You’re welcome.
Now all that’s left to do is install your OS. I use Windows 10 and I’m going to describe the installation process in the following section
Can You Upgrade from HDD to SSD without SATA Cable?
Let’s say you don’t have a SATA cable on hand now, can you switch to an SSD without one? The answer is yes.
All you have to do is perform a clean installation of the OS.
Below I’ve outlined the steps to clean install the Windows 10 OS on SSD-
- Download Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
- Start it and select the “Create Installation Media for Another PC” option.
- Create installation media following the Wizard.
- After creating the media, open the computer case, remove the HDD and insert the SSD into the secondary drive bay. If your PC has a second drive bay and you wish to keep the HDD for storage, you can do that later.
- Next up, start your PC and press F2, F12, or Delete to boot into the BIOS.
- Set the SATA mode to AHCI if it’s not already done.
- Modify the boot order to bring Installation Media at top of the boot order.
- Save the changes and reboot your PC.
- The installation will start. During the process, you might be asked to type your product key. Skip it and choose ‘I am Reinstalling Windows 10 on this PC” option.
- Once the Windows 10 installation is complete, shut down your PC.
- At this point, if you want to keep your old HDD, open the case and install it into the HDD bay.
- Power on your PC and check if you can see both drives in the File Explorer. If not, restart your PC a couple of times.
- Once that part is sorted, install all the necessary drivers from the support page of your computer’s manufacturer.
- Copy all the media files from your HDD to a temporary folder in your SSD.
- Format the HDD and change the name to “Data Drive”.
- Copy the files from the SSD back to the HDD.
- Delete that temporary folder from your SSD
And your clean installation of Windows 10 OS on your new SSD is complete. Again, you’re welcome!
To Sum up
Are SATA cables necessary? For a straightforward SSD installation and media file transfer from HDD – yes. But if you are going to do a clean install of the OS, you don’t need a SATA cable for it.
SATA cables are dirt cheap, so I would suggest buying them with your SSD as no OEM version SSDs come with cables. Hope this helped!