How Many Pins on a SATA Data Cable: A Guide to Hooking Up Your Hard Drive

A SATA data connector has 7 horizontal pins, four pins arranged in two pairs for data and 3 ground pins . One end (the end that connects to a storage device) may be angled to save space.

Hooking up a hard drive might seem like an easy task, but one wrong move can result in disaster. Did you know that you can hook up the data and power connectors to a SATA hard drive backwards? Although it might seem like a simple mistake, it can lead to some serious damage. So, let’s make sure you do this correctly.

First, let’s take a look at the edge connector of a Samsung solid-state hard drive. This hard drive has a power connector and a data connector, both with a little L-shaped plastic. The L-shape is there to ensure that you don’t put the connector on backward.

When hooking up the power cable, make sure to line up the L-shaped plastic with the L-shaped plastic on the hard drive’s connector. If you put the cable on backward, you risk breaking the plastic of your power connector. Once you have the power connector hooked up, it’s time to hook up the data connection.

The data connection uses a SATA cable with a connector that also has a little L-shaped plastic. Again, make sure to line up the L shape to ensure you don’t put the connector in backward. The retention latch is the metal part that should face up if the hard drive is facing up.

If the SATA cable has a 90-degree bend, use that end to connect to the hard drive, with the clip facing up. You’ll hear a click once it’s in place. The other end plugs into a SATA connector on your motherboard.

If you only have one hard drive, it doesn’t matter which SATA connector you use. However, if you have more than one hard drive, plug in your operating system hard drive to the lowest numbered SATA connector. For example, if they are numbered SATA 1, SATA 2, and SATA 3, plug it into SATA 1. If they start numbering at 0, plug it into SATA 0.

When you need to pull the cable out, make sure to squeeze the metal connector. If not, you risk breaking off the plastic connector on your solid-state hard drive. This can result in needing to pay someone a lot of money to take the circuit board out and jimmy on a new connector for data recovery.

Take a second look at the direction of the connector rather than trying to do it by braille. With this guide, you’ll be able to hook up your hard drive correctly and safely.


Does a SATA cable have 7 pins?
SATA Data Cable It packs a connector with 7 pins and is mainly used to connect a hard disk to a PC's motherboard. In short, one end should be connected to the port on your hard disk.
How many wires are in a SATA data cable?
The SATA standard defines a data cable with seven conductors (three grounds and four active data lines in two pairs) and 8 mm wide wafer connectors on each end.
How many pins does a SATA 2.5 drive have?
The standard SATA connector found on 2.5” SATA SSD and Slim SATA (MO-297) are the same as shown above. There are a total of 22-pins broken into 7-pins for Data and 15-pins for Power. The contact pads for these products is only found on one side of the connector.
Why do SATA power cables have so many pins?
The new SATA power connector contains many more pins for several reasons: 3.3 V is supplied along with the traditional 5 V and 12 V supplies. To reduce impedance and increase current capability, each voltage is supplied by three pins in parallel, though one pin in each group is intended for precharging.