I don't know if this is a common problem or not but due to removing sata cables from the ports on my motherboard more times than I would like to admit, none of the cables snap into place like they did before. This is a new build and due to many problems I had with various parts, I had to remove the cables far too many times. I have tried new sata cables with locking clips hoping this would help but it has not helped. I'm afraid the ports on the motherboard are slightly damaged due to all the plugging and plugging. So far my two optical drives show up in the bios along with both hard drives so I'm okay there but I really want to secure them better than they are now. You can remove the cables with a very gentle tug on the end. I'm so angry at myself for not having been better organized at the outset of this build (my first) because it may have saved those cables from being removed a time or two. For my first build I had just awful luck with parts. A power supply, processor cooling fan, and a video card all DOA (all replaced by Newegg without question. Thank you Newegg!) along with 2 bad fans. It has been a nerve racking first build. The good part is that 2 months after I started assembling my first rig it is finished and everything seems to be running fine. Except for those 4 loose sata cables. Arrrrg. Thanks for any tips in rigging something that might hold these cables in place more securely so that I may sleep at night. Replacing the motherboard is not an option! Oh and by the way, the ends of the cables that plug into the hard drives and optical drives are fine. Its just the ends that plug into the 4 ports on the motherboard. That is why I think I damaged those ports. Thanks again.
It is kind of late for this info, but here it is anyway. I recall reading somewhere that the life of SATA connectors is some low number of insert/unplug cycles - something like 50. When a manufacturer claims 50, I see 10 to 20 realistically, because the insertion is not done under lab conditions.
The SATA cable end with the clip must be attached to the motherboard.
Try cables from different manufacturers (not different retailers who sell the same product).
As a last resort, you can put some Scotch tape at the connector end, to give it a snug fit. Do not use glue even though I have read about that on a different site. Once you get a good connection, do not unplug the SATA cable from the motherboard end.
Thank you for your answer. I came very close to using rubber cement which I also read on another site. I am going to use your trying various cables approach. I am buying from 3 different cable mfg's and I'm also trying one set without clips at the end. Thanks again for your help.
Don't forget the one-ply Scotch tape on one of the flat sides in order to make the fit a little more snug. If one ply doesn't help, add another layer. Do this in gradual steps. I have done this with success in automotive applications where I needed 3 hands to do a repair job.