How to Convert IDE Hard Drives to SATA

by Ryan K Oylear

With SATA having all but replaced the older IDE (also known as ATA and used for connecting storage devices), it can be hard to find a motherboard with any ATA ports on it. This can be a problem for someone who upgrades his system, but wishes to keep his older hard drive, which is ATA based. ATA and SATA are similar enough that converting an ATA drive to work with a SATA controller and cables is as easy as plugging in an adapter.

Step 1

Remove the ATA hard drive from the case. Remove the old 80-pin TA cable, and disconnect the four-pin molex power connector.

Step 2

Connect the four-pin molex to five-pin SATA adpater cable to the four-pin molex power connector.

Step 3

Press the 40-pin connector end of the ATA to STAT converter into the ATA connector on the hard drive, noting the proper orientation based on the connector tab. Seat it completely and firmly.

Connect the SATA cable to the SATA connectors both on the converter and the motherboard, then connect the converted power cable into the ATA to SATA converter.


  • Do not force the 40-pin connector on the converter into the 40-pin connection on the hard drive. You could potentially break pins or electrically destroy the hard drive, rendering it inoperable.

Items you will need

  • ATA to SATA adapter
  • SATA data cable
  • Four-pin molex to five-pin SATA power cable adapter

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