My new drive is a Seagate 2TB BarraCuda SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive (ST2000DM006).

My motherboard is an MSI B85M-G43 (MS-7823).

I'm assuming my power supply unit uses whatever the standard port is. I couldn't find a way to determine what it is exactly.

I'm replacing my SSD with an HDD and I want to hook it up to format and migrate the OS with AOMEI Partition Assistant, which is why I can't use the cable that my SSD is using right now.

I didn't put this computer together and am only replacing a failing internal SSD.

So I know I need a SATA 6 Gb/s for the motherboard but I'm confused when looking at different cables. I've mostly seen the SATA cable separate from the power cable.

So far I've looked on Walmart.com, Amazon and Newegg.com.

Any help in figuring out what cable I need would be appreciated.


5 Answers 5


Page 21 of the "Product Manual - Seagate":

Applicable to:

  • Standard models: ST3000DM008, ST2000DM006, ST1000DM010 and ST500DM009

  • Self-Encryption models: ST3000DM009 and ST2000DM007

"3.3 SATA cables and connectors

The SATA interface cable consists of four conductors in two differential pairs, plus three ground connections. The cable size may be 30 to 26 AWG with a maximum length of one meter (39.37 inches). See Table 7 for connector pin definitions. Either end of the SATA signal cable can be attached to the drive or host. For direct backplane connection, the drive connectors are inserted directly into the host receptacle. The drive and the host receptacle incorporate features that enable the direct connection to be hot pluggable and blind mateable.

For installations which require cables, users can connect the drive as illustrated in Figure 1.

Drive Cables

Each cable is keyed to ensure correct orientation. BarraCuda drives support latching SATA connectors.


For 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drives the power cable and the SATA cable are separate cables. Every recent power supply should come with a few SATA power plugs. If you don't have enough free plugs, or if your power supply is really old, there are adapters. For data you just need a normal SATA cable.


You've noted that the HD is SATA, so you will need a SATA cable between the motherboard and the drive, and a SATA power cable from the power supply to the drive. https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/B85M-G43/Specification shows that the motherboard has two SATA ports. Perhaps you have one motherboard SATA port used up by an optical drive - you can temporarily use it for this project.


Replacing the SSD with an HDD?!?! You're moving backwards. I'd jump a cliff.

To answer your question you need a Ribbon Style SATA cable or you could a SATA to Molex adapter.

The actual cable that plugs into the power supply was surprisingly hard to find. I had the most luck searching the term Ribbon Style SATA Cable if you would like to look at other options.

  • Don't have enough money for a new SSD at the moment. When I build my VR rig in the future I'm sure I'll at least use the SSD for the OS. SSD still has trouble when it experiences too many rewrites and won't last as long as HDD when that happens. Aug 24, 2018 at 9:15
  • 2
    @NathanielPhillips The SSD rewrite problem is obsolete. Current SSD's have a much better lifespan compared to the earlier SSDs. If you get a Samsung Pro model SSD, you also get a 10 year warranty instead of a 5 year which is standard with all other SSD/HDDs. If you do get one in the future, I'd recommend 128 GB or larger, even if it's just the OS.
    – DrZoo
    Aug 24, 2018 at 14:33

The connector on SATA drives is designed so it can be used with either a combined power and data connector or with two seperate connectors for power and data. In desktop systems power and data are normally wired up seperately.

Power cables are normally part of the power supply. Big brand OEMs will often use power supplies with exactly the right selection of cable lengths and connectors to match the drive bays in their machines. Generic power supplies may have a less-perfect selection of connectors.

Some fancy power supplies come with cables that can be detatched to make the inside of your case look neater, these are known as "modular cables". Be aware that if your power supply uses these that there is no standard for the power supply end of these cables and they can differ between supplies (even supplies from the same brand), so don't just grab a modular cable from some random power supply and plug it into a spare connector on the power supply.

If you need extra power connections or the cables won't reach you can buy power splitter an extender cables. You can also get adapters to go from the older "molex" power connectors to SATA power connectors.

  • I believe this is what happened to me. Seeing that all my other harddrives were plugged into power cables issuing from the "sata3" modular port of my power supply, I grabbed a cable that fit into the "sata2" port, plugged the other end into my harddrive, turned on the computer, and watched the harddrive board pop and smoke.
    – Caleb Jay
    Oct 14, 2020 at 2:07

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