How do i use this external SATA input?

What is this and how do I use this? Do I need software to make it work or can I just plug it in?
(picture attached)

I just don't know what it is or how to use it.
Thanks

picture of an external attachement
artismobileAsked:
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
here's one in use:

SATA drive connected externally...
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
This is an eSATA plate.  Buy an external eSATA enclosure for around $20, then put a SATA disk inside of it.

Unless you have Windows XP, then SATA drivers come standard.  (But if this came with an eSATA controller, beware that some of them have built-in RAID capability ... and those controllers do require special drivers which may or may not be compatible with your O/S)
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artismobileAuthor Commented:
I don't know where I got this. Does this allow me to connect an external drive to my computer?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As noted, it's simply a backplane plate that lets you connect SATA drives externally.   You plug the two SATA connectors in to internal SATA ports; and connect the power adapter to your power supply.     The system that this came with should have also come with a couple of external cables to use with it.    You can either use it to connect to an eSATA enclosure (in which case you generally won't need the power connection;  or you can directly connect a bare drive externally [handy for testing new drives or temporarily connecting one for backups].

I suspect that 90+ % of these adapters that ship with motherboards are simply never used (or even installed).
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Darr247Commented:
The SATA controller you plug those cables into need to be set to AHCI mode, too... otherwise when you plug in a drive to that bracket it won't be recognized without rebooting.
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
That basically converts internal SATA ports to eSATA ports - some enclosures support eSATA connections which are MUCH faster than USB 2.0.  They require an "eSATA Cable" (google it - they're all over) but this would allow you to connect external drives via SATA instead of USB, provided the external drive enclosure supported eSATA.

Couple of notes: While eSATA is MUCH faster than USB, I find you can't just plug in and unplug drives from it.  Plug the drives in and turn the computer on.  Turn the computer off and then unplug the drives for the safest, most reliable operation.

Also, read the SATA controller manual you have - it's POSSIBLE that some SATA ports on the controller card or your motherboard are disabled when others are in use (typically if RAID is enabled or possibly an onboard IDE controller.  It's not ALWAYS the case, but it can happen, so read the manual.
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Tony GiangrecoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You need to have an internal sata card or ports on your motherboard to use it. It allows you to add an external E-sata hard drive or dvd. Depending on the card and/or drive enclosure you use, you might need the driver that goes with that hardware.

Hope this helps! Merry Christmas!
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artismobileAuthor Commented:
Ok, got it. Not needed but its good I know what it is now!
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