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Find a SATA to USB Adapter Cable

Upgrading a hard drive to a larger HDD or a solid-state drive can be accomplished with a SATA to USB adapter. These cables are used to establish a connection between a computer equipped with a USB port and external hard drive. This allows data from your current hard drive to be written to a new drive.

What is SATA?

SATA is an abbreviation of serial advanced technology attachment. It's the name for the type of cable used by most hard drives and many solid-state drives designed to replace them. Essentially, it's a data transfer cable that also provides a power supply. SATA has gone through a few versions, so be sure to get the version that's compatible with your drive.

What are these adapters used for?

An adapter cable with SATA and USB connectors can be handy for a couple different tasks.

  • Creating a backup hard drive: If you need to create a backup clone of a computer's HDD, you can use an adapter to connect the backup drive to your computer for the data transfer, then store the backup drive in a safe place after it's complete.
  • Replacing an existing hard drive: If you plan to replace your computer's hard drive with a larger HDD or upgrade it to an SSD, you can use this type of cable to create a mirror image of the old drive onto a new drive. Then, after you replace the old drive, you're computer will boot with the same OS and software without the need to reinstall anything.
Why do some adapter cables come with two USB connectors?

Some SATA to USB cables have a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connector to give you the option of using the USB 2.0 cable if your computer doesn't support USB 3.0. This adds flexibility to the cable, which can be helpful if you maintain computers that support one or the other. The main difference between these two versions of USB is their data transfer speed.

How are these cables used to upgrade to an SSD?

A common use for these adapters is to upgrade to a solid-state drive. Before installing an SSD drive, it can be convenient to clone your existing hard drive onto it by following these steps:

  • Software: Install the cloning software that you'll use for the upgrade.
  • Plug in: Connect the SATA end of your adapter cable to the SSD.
  • Install: Connect the USB end into a compatible USB port on your computer.
  • Clone: Begin the cloning operation with the program you're using for the upgrade.
  • Start over: After the HDD is cloned, you can turn off your computer and replace it with the SSD.
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