How to Convert Sata to USB External Drive

Updated April 17, 2017

SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) hard drives are the most widely used hard drives today. Most of the external hard drives on the market are using SATA hard drives. However, external hard drives are far more expensive than internal hard drives, given that they have the same features. Converting an external hard drive to an internal USB hard drive requires an enclosure that converts the SATA connection to a USB connection.

Before you buy an external USB hard drive enclosure for your SATA hard drive, acquire the data transfer rate of the SATA drive. Buy a hard drive enclosure that supports the transfer rate of the hard drive. For example, if the external USB hard drive enclosure supports a transfer rate of up to 960 mbps and the hard drive has a data transfer rate of 1260 mbps, the SATA drive might not function properly because some of the functions will be blocked or slowed down.

Take the hard drive cage out of the external hard drive enclosure. Connect the SATA cable from the hard drive enclosure to the SATA port on the back of the SATA drive. Now connect the 4-pin power connector to the back of the hard drive.

Fit the hard drive into the hard drive cage and then slide it into the external hard drive enclosure. Close the hard drive enclosure. Attach the USB cable from the hard drive enclosure to the USB port on your computer; it does not matter whether you attach the USB cable while the computer is off or on. Let the computer recognise the new hardware. Test the connection of the hard drive by transferring some files back and forth from the external hard drive and the main hard drive on your computer.


If your external hard drive came with a manual, use it for more detailed information regarding the installation of the SATA hard drive into the enclosure.

Things You'll Need

  • External SATA to USB hard drive enclosure
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About the Author

Ryan Casima is a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology and is going to major in bioengineering. He has been featured on various websites as a cardio-fitness expert. Casima has studied human anatomy, body function and medicine in general since 2009.