If you have a Serial ATA hard disk drive (SATA HDD) that contains data that you need to put on your laptop, or you would like to transfer data from the laptop to the SATA HDD, connecting the two is a simple matter. You will need a special adaptor called a SATA/USB Adapter that you can find at computer electronics stores for £9 to £13 as of 2010.
Examine the cables that came with your SATA/USB Adapter. You should find a cable that has a universal serial bus 2.0 (USB) plug on one end and a SATA connection on the other. Sometimes these cables will be in two pieces and need to be connected. You should also find a power cord with one end that will plug into a wall outlet and the other into the SATA HDD power supply input.
Connect the SATA end of the SATA/USB cable to the appropriate input on your SATA HDD. There will only be one slot where it will fit.
Connect the appropriate end of the power supply cable to the SATA HDD. Again, there will be only one slot where it will fit. Do not plug the other end of the cord into the wall outlet yet.
Turn on your laptop computer and insert the USB end of the USB/SATA cord into one of your laptop's USB ports. Wait until your computer finishes booting.
Plug the SATA HDD power supply cord into the wall and the device will be powered up. It should only take your computer a few moments to recognise the connected drive.