Can I Use SSD and HDD at the Same Time [Full Guide]

Written By FarhanMax

It’s been quite some time and now you need to expand your storage capacity. Having an HDD now you are going for an SSD or having an SSD, you are thinking of using another HDD but not sure if it will work.

Well, hear me out, as a video editor, I have faced the same fate. But now, my files and videos are more organized than you can imagine. The most asked question is,

Can I use both SSD and HDD together?

Yes, you can use both SSD and HDD together, and believe me, it has more merits than you can ask. An SSD offers less power consumption with higher speed, and an HDD comes with more capacity at a lower price.

Eager to find out more about the usage of SSDs and HDDs? Then you need not go anywhere else as I will be telling everything in this article. So stay tuned!can-i-use-ssd-and-hdd-at-the-same-time

Also, check out our separate post on is SSD good for gaming.

Is It Better to Have Both SSD and HDD?

Absolutely yes! It is beneficial to have SSD and HDD together. SSD works much faster than HDD does, whereas HDD offers more storage capacity than SSD pricing. So many people prefer buying SSD for gaining that extra speed while having a preexisting HDD.

So using both SSD and HDD, you have excellent work speed and more storage capacity.

Video editors like me tend to use SSD to run the programs and OS to edit and render the videos or photos quicker. We use the vast amount of HDD to store our somewhat large files.

Follow our guide to know can SSD Overheat.

How to Use HDD and SSD At The Same Time

Using your SSD and HDD is the way to go. But the problem arises how you should be using

them to get the most value out of them? Here I will be explaining everything, including the installation of the drives.how-to-use-ssd-and-hdd-at-the-same-time

Here are the steps to use HDD and SSD at the same time:

1. Install OS and Apps on SSD

You have to consider one of the two to make the boot drive when you have two drives. In this case, making the SSD as boot drive is more preferable. The OS files will be located in SSD, and it will help the system run programs faster and booting up and shutting down your computer more quickly.

You should also consider installing the programs on your SSD too.

Installing the OS on SSD is a relatively easy thing to do. I will be guiding you step by step on how you can setup the OS on your SSD.

Here’s a complete guide on is SSD Portable.

Follow these to install Windows on your SSD freshly:

  • Step 1: Download the Windows ISO file from their official website. You have to choose Create Installation Media to download the ISO file.
  • Step 2: Download ‘Rufus’ and install the software.
  • Step 3: Plugin a USB drive of at least 8GB and open Rufus.
  • Step 4: In Rufus, select the USB drive from ‘Device’ and choose the Windows ISO file from the ‘Boot Selection’. Then simply hit Start, which will start the process, and after some time, it will finish.
  • Step 5: Restart the computer and enter the BIOS by tapping F2 or Del continuously before the computer starts. Boot the system through the USB.
  • Step 6: Choose the language and proceed to Installation.
  • Step 7: Format the previous drive which had Windows installed, and select the new SSD for Windows installation. The rest will be done automatically. Later on, just active the Windows using your Windows Activation Key.

Installing Apps on SSD will benefit them to boot up faster. If you have a smaller SSD, you should keep an eye on which softwares you need or use the most. Longer taking programs will take shorter time, and shorter ones will open almost instantly.

Installing the most used apps such as browsers, office apps, photo editors on SSD will make it work faster, and they take little space. Installing heavy apps such as video editors or IDEs for programming will gain an advantage but will also take more room.

Some space should always be vacant in SSD to get the best performance from the SSD. So keep this in mind when installing programs on SSD.

Also, check out our expert’s recommended Best Aura Sync Compatible SSDs.

2. Store Personal Data on HDD

Same-sized HDD costs less than same-sized SSD. Because of the high cost, most people buy smaller SSDs, which is more convenient. So storing your files on HDD is the way to go.

Just because your software is installed on your SSD that necessarily doesn’t mean you have to keep the work file in SSD too. For example, if you installed VLC player on SSD, that doesn’t mean you have to keep your movies on SSD too.

Also, check out our separate post on can you Partition your SSD.

In this case, keep your videos, images, and music or audio on HDD. Change the default Download folder from your SSD to HDD because they do not benefit from SSD.

Watch out for your SSD space as, over time, eventually, it gets filled up. So whenever you notice that SSD is filling up, just take a tour and move some unused files to HDD.

I keep my videos in HDD and run the Premiere Pro on SSD. In this way, I get a faster program boot and a huge amount of storage to pile up my data.

In a hurry? Check out my new post on What are the fastest PCIE 4.0 SSDs.

3. Enable SSD Trim Feature

Many of us might not know that TRIM plays a vital role in making an SSD way faster than HDD. It helps OS to precisely detect the data location that you want to move or delete. Once a file is deleted or cut out from that place, the TRIM feature commands the drive to clean files from all sectors thoroughly, making writing new data faster.

Also, check out our expert’s recommended fastest PCIE 4.0 SSDs.

Therefore, you should make sure to enable the TRIM feature on your PC. To enable TRIM, just follow these instructions:

  • Go to Windows search option and type Command Prompt and open it.
  • Type “fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify” and hit Enter.
  • If the Command Prompt displays “NTFS DisaleDeleteNofity = 1”, it means the TRIM is disabled for your SSD. For that, you can run the “fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0” command to enable TRIM.

Note: If it displays ”NTFS DisaleDeleteNotify = 0” in the Command Prompt, which means TRIM is enabled. Then you can skip this step.

Also check our exclusive tutorial on is SSD compatible with all motherboards.

4. Never Defrag SSD

For those who don’t know, in Hard Disk Drives, files are fragmented and stored in multiple locations. If the HDD is used for a long time, then writing and reading data from the HDD may take a long time. You can defrag it with Disk Defragmenter to speed things up and improve HDD performance.

We know HDDs have moving parts in them, and SSDs don’t. Rather than having moving parts, SSDs rely on capacitors. So the structure of the drives is different, and they work differently from each other.

Disk defragmentation works on only Hard Disk Drives, and Solid State Drives do not benefit from it. On the other hand, It will shorten the overall lifespan of the SSD.

Here’s a complete guide on can SSD improve FPS.

SSD/HDD Combo Benefits

You already know that SSDs have supremacy over HDDs. So why not buy a single big storage capacity SSD? Well, you see, when it comes to price to storage ratio, SSDs cost much much more than HDDs.

So going for SSD and HDD combo is the best shot for those who are not willing to spend much of a fortune.

If you are a media consumer guy, then going for a 500GB SSD with a 2TB HDD will be a great combo for you. In this way, you’ll be able to store a lot of movies, music, photos on your PC, as well as run all your favorite games and editing softwares nice and smooth.

Follow our guide to know is SSD affected by magnets.

Summary

To sum up everything, you can use SSDs and HDDs together on your PC or Laptop and running both together actually is a good idea.

If you are running low on cash, take my advice and run a 256GB SSD with a 1TB HDD.

Hope the article helped you understand everything about running SSDs and HDDs together and the best way to utilize them.

If you have further queries, just feel free to ask us!

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