How to Connect a SATA Hard Drive to a Laptop

Written by ruri ranbe
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How to Connect a SATA Hard Drive to a Laptop
Install a SATA drive to your laptop in only a few steps. (Computer Drive image by pg003 from

SATA, or Serial ATA, the technology standard for hard disks and optical devices, uses a power connector and a data cable to connect to a desktop motherboard. Laptops, however, due to the limitation in size, vary from desktops in their setups, Many laptops do not use cables to connect the hard drive to the laptop, but rather allow the user to insert the hard drive directly to a socket.

To connect a SATA hard disk to a laptop, you must remove the old hard drive from its bay, replace it with the new one and secure the SATA disk in place.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Shut down the laptop. Disconnect the AC adaptor from the power jack and remove any other devices attached to the dock.

  2. 2

    Shut the lid and turn the laptop facedown. Release the tabs holding the battery in place and extract the battery from its compartment.

  3. 3

    Loosen the screws holding the hard drive in place. Slide the drive to the side and gently lift it from its bay. Remove any cables connected to the drive.

  4. 4

    Loosen the screws securing the mounting tray to the hard drive. Remove the tray from the disk.

  5. 5

    Insert the new hard drive into the panel. Tighten the screws to secure the mounting tray to the SATA drive.

  6. 6

    Connect to the SATA drive any cables you removed from the old drive. Slide the mounting tray and the SATA drive into the empty bay. Screw the hard drive back into place.

  7. 7

    Return the battery to its compartment and slide the tabs to lock it into place. Turn the laptop upright.

  8. 8

    Open the lid and reconnect the AC adaptor. Power on the computer and configure the SATA disk as instructed in the drive's manual.

Tips and warnings

  • Before handling the SATA drive, extracting the battery from its compartment or removing the old hard disk from its bay, you should touch a piece of unpainted metal, or put on an anti-static wrist-strap, to prevent damaging the components of the computer with electrostatic discharge.
  • Navigate to your laptop manufacturer's website and check your computer's specifications to confirm that SATA is compatible with your computer. Older laptops may use IDE instead.

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