How To Add More SATA Ports To A Motherboard?

How to add more SATA ports to a motherboard? Well, if you need to add more SATA ports to your motherboard, then I welcome you mate!

A lot of motherboards these days only come with two SATA ports. If you’re like me, and have six SATA hard drives in your computer (and an optical drive), this doesn’t cut it. So…

How To Add More SATA Ports To A Motherboard?

how-to-add-more-sata-ports-to-a-motherboard

Well, don’t worry, there are several easy ways to add more SATA ports to your computer. This tutorial will tell you how to do all three methods.

Method one: The first way is by using a PCI card. I’ve never done this before, but it’s relatively simple and inexpensive if you already own another PCI card. You just remove the metal shielding that covers one of the PCI slots on your motherboard (usually black or silver). Then you just open up your PCI card. You’ll have to unscrew the metal case, which exposes the circuit board inside. There are several SATA ports on this circuit board. They usually work fine without drivers, but sometimes you need to install them. After that, just plug it into one of your regular PCI slots and secure it with a screw or something to prevent movement.

Method two: The second way is buying an eSATA expansion enclosure. With this method, you’re going to buy an external hard drive enclosure with at least two extra SATA ports using firewire or USB 2.0 connections (USB 3.0 is also pretty popular these days) and connect that extra hard drive enclosure to one of your computer’s USB ports. However, it’s my understanding that they are actually using the same circuit board inside of an eSATA expansion enclosure as in method one above. So keep this in mind when buying your extra hard drive enclosure.

Method three: The third way is to ask me how I did it on my computer. For documentation purposes, let me say that I used a PCI card with two SATA ports (a PCI card came with the expansion slot). Now for information purposes only, let me tell you how I connected it to my motherboard.

I know some people are not comfortable opening up their computers or messing around with circuit boards and seeing what happens if you connect power (+5 volts) to alligator clips on one of your motherboard’s SATA ports, but I have no problem doing this. However, if you are not very comfortable with opening up your computer or messing around with circuit boards, DON’T DO THIS. Don’t even think about it.

You need to know the positive and negative points of your motherboard’s SATA ports before you do something like this. If you connect power (+5 volts) to the wrong place on the board (positive and negative get mixed up), then it can quickly fry your computer.

I’ve done this several times in my life (on motherboards that I didn’t want anymore). The only time it had ever given me any problems is when I made mistakes soldering two wires together (the ends of both wires were touching each other, but only because the solder wasn’t complete). I also accidentally shorted two wires when connecting them to a power supply (not my computer, just another circuit board that I was testing something out on).

The reason I’m posting this is to let people know that it’s completely up to you if you want to connect power (+5 volts) directly to one of your motherboard’s SATA ports. Just remember that if you do this, then there is absolutely no warranty or guarantee anymore. You can fry your entire motherboard by not knowing what you’re doing; however, everything will probably be fine if you know what voltage goes where (positive and negative).

Also, make sure there isn’t anything lying around in the area where you’re working that can cause a short-circuit (like water or food). If you are not comfortable doing this, then don’t do it at all.

I know I’m not responsible if you decide to play around with your motherboard’s circuitry. Just be careful!

Here is a video tutorial:

PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

First, unscrew the metal case of two PCI cards with one SATA port on them (a PCI card came with one of my extra hard drive enclosures), and solder two wires onto the circuit board inside. The positive wire has to go to the positive connection on the circuit board, and the negative wire has to go to the negative connection on the circuit board. If you are not comfortable soldering things to circuit boards, then don’t do it! Can use any kind of thin wire for this. The wires I used were slightly thicker than the wire coming out of my computer’s power supply (which is 20 gauge, but you can probably use thinner wire if you want).

Next, put some electrical tape or duct tape on top of each solder connection so that the two wires aren’t touching each other anymore. This step might not be necessary because I did it just in case. Then cut off all excess wire coming out from the board, which you don’t need. It would be really bad if one side of your SATA port suddenly had five volts running through it at this point. Make sure no extra wire is touching anything else inside the case.

Next, I used a small piece of paper to slip in between the two wires. This was just to make sure that both sides of the SATA port had no five volts running through them before I plugged the PCI card into my motherboard.

Now plug one end of a SATA cable coming from an external hard drive enclosure into your PCI card. Then plug the other end of this SATA cable into one side of a free SATA port on your computer’s motherboard (you should have two or three connectors going through the same hole). When doing this, it’s actually better to punch holes in your computer because if you pull out one wire from its connector really quickly, then another wire might already be halfway inside the connector which you don’t want.

Now plug the other end of your SATA cable coming from the hard drive enclosure into one side of another free SATA port on your computer’s motherboard (you can also punch new holes in here, but it might be more difficult). You now have two extra SATA ports for use!

Finally, if you are done soldering wires to PCI cards for now, then screw the metal case back onto each PCI card. Now you can close up your computer’s case again and connect the SATA power connector on an external hard drive enclosure to a spare SATA port inside your computer. Then turn on your computer and see if everything works. If it does, then congratulations! If not, then maybe try soldering things slightly differently next time.

Now you have an extra SATA port on your computer! It might not be as difficult as it looks, but if you’re new to soldering things then this might take a few tries. If the screen doesn’t come up with your motherboard’s BIOS or something like that when you turn on your computer, then try taking out every wire going from the PCI cards to the motherboard and putting them back in except for one wire which goes from each PCI card to a free SATA port on the motherboard. This way, only one of those two extra ports will work at a time instead of both of them at once.

Different Types of SATA Cables and Their Uses:

add-more-sata-ports-to-a-motherboard

A normal SATA data cable (the same type which you might use to connect something like an external hard drive enclosure to the computer’s motherboard). You can plug these into regular SATA ports on any computer with no problems.

A “flipped” or “inverted” IDE cable connects an older PATA device to a newer SATA port. If you accidentally do this, then don’t worry because there will still be one free USB header instead of two headers if you have one of these PCI cards inserted in your PC at the time. However, if your BIOS doesn’t support booting from USB devices, then it might not actually work until you switch everything around again.

A cable for connecting an older type of IDE device (such as an older external hard drive enclosure) to a newer computer. This is the same thing as the “inverted” IDE cable, but you might need one of these if your motherboard doesn’t have any regular SATA data connectors and it only has some extra spare SATA ports instead.

Motherboard SATA Ports Not Working, What To Do?

  • Make sure no extra wire is touching anything else inside the case. Then
  • Punch holes in your computer and plug one end of a SATA cable coming from an external hard drive enclosure into your PCI card and another end of this SATA cable into
  • Now plug the other end of your SATA cable coming from the hard drive enclosure into and you now have two extra SATA ports for use!

If the screen doesn’t come up with your motherboard’s BIOS or something like that when you turn on your computer, then try taking out every wire going from the PCI cards to the motherboard and putting them back in except for one wire which goes from each PCI card to a free SATA port the motherboard. This way, only one of those two extra ports will work at a time instead of both of them at once.

How to check SATA ports on the motherboard?

When checking your SATA ports, the first thing to do is look at how they are labeled on your motherboard; this may be different depending on make and model, but it should be relatively easy to find where they are located if you know what you’re looking for. The blue sockets (the newer style) often have little plastic tabs at the end of each socket which flips up to reveal a hole where you can plug your SATA cable into.

This makes installing the hard drive much easier because it automatically locks into place. Don’t force it, though; if you feel resistance, then that means that there is likely something wrong with the port, and you should take out that cable and try another one in that spot. It may even be a good idea to put a few cables in different spots just in case there is a problem with any one of them, but make sure you test each individual cable before putting all of your eggs in one basket.

When checking the SATA ports on a motherboard, it’s also essential to look at what kind of chipset each port has, as different chipsets will work better depending on the type of drive being used. A good general rule of thumb is that any modern SATA III (6 gigabytes per second) port should work well with a regular hard disk, whilst a RAID array will often require a much faster connection usually found on a SATA II port.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to test SATA ports on a motherboard?

If you suspect that one or more of your motherboard’s SATA devices are damaged or bad, you can use CPU-Z to test the motherboard’s SATA ports. CPU-Z is a freeware utility that gathers information on some of the main devices in your PC. CPU-Z does not require installation, just download the file and run it. It will display your computer’s detailed specifications, including the CPU type and speed, motherboard, amount of RAM, PCI Express slots, graphics card, USB devices, hard drives, optical drives, memory modules, and more.

Are all SATA ports on the motherboard the same?

Theoretically, all SATA ports should be equal. The traditional convention was that the first port should be used for the hard drive, the second port for the optical drive, and so on. This became more complicated when hard drives began getting larger than the traditional 500GB, and manufacturers started using multiple platters in a single drive to increase their storage capacity. However, placing the drive in the same position on the SATA controller should have no effect at all. It should work fine in any of the ports.

How to check SATA ports on a laptop motherboard?

Usually, laptops have at least two or more available ports for SATA drives. You can check them by connecting the hard disk to the desired port and booting the laptop. If you lay your hand on the hard disk while it is running, you can also hear the disk activity.

Summary:

If you’re looking to add more SATA ports to your computer, there are a few things you need to know about how to add more SATA ports to a motherboard. The first thing you need to do is find out how many SATA ports your motherboard has, and if it has enough SATA ports to support the hard drives and SSDs you want to add. If it doesn’t, you’ll need a PCI-Express SATA controller card. You can also use a SATA expansion card if you need more SATA ports.


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Afzal
By Afzal

With almost 8 years experience in the PC hardware industry, Afzal is happy to share his expertise with you. As a PC hardware enthusiast, he writes about what is the best technology on the market, mostly about the best PC components.


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