To get the maximum performance on one computer, a great many users want to use SSD and HDD at the same time. Can I use SSD and HDD at the same time? How to organize SSD and HDD at the same PC? This post of MiniTool will provide you with a full guide.

Can I use SSD and HDD at the same time? Lots of people are confused about this question especially when building a computer for gaming. As a user on reports his issue, he is not sure how to use SSD and HDD together.

Hello. I have a SSD and a HDD. So I was wondering can I use both at the same time. I was thinking to install ALL my steam games onto my HDD and others like anti-virus and Microsoft office etc. onto my SSD? Is that a good idea? I have ALOT of games right now and I have like 20GB left on my SSD. I have a Samsung EVO SSD btw and I'm on a MSI laptop. May someone guide me through this if this is possible? Really appreciate the help!

You can follow the several effective tips below to use SSD and HDD together. Besides, a full guide will be provided to organize SSD and HDD combo.

Can I Use SSD and HDD at the Same Time

Can you have an SSD and an HDD in the same computer? The answer is absolutely yes. It is an excellent idea to use SSD and HDD at the same time. An SSD boasts many distinctive merits such as fast loading speed, low power consumption, and etc. So, lots of people want to install an SSD with an existing HDD.

Using SSD and HDD at the same time can take advantage of the fast speed of an SSD and the large capacity of an HDD. However, the large capacity SSDs are more expensive than a usual HDD with the same space, so many people can only buy an SSD with a relatively small capacity.

Then, how to use SSD and HDD at the same time? Which drive should be used to install OS? Which drive should be used to store personal data? Please keep reading to get the answers.

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Tips to Use SSD and HDD Together on One PC

How to organize SSD and HDD effectively? In order to get the best performance, here we summarize the following 5 useful tips for you.

# 1. Install OS and Apps on SSD

It is obvious that most SSDs are much faster than a conventional HDD when reading data. If you want to get fast speed when loading some large programs such as Steam and Photoshop, you would better install them on the SSD.

In addition, it is highly recommended that you install OS and frequently-used programs on the SSD, which enables your computer to work much faster.

# 2. Store Personal Data on HDD

As mentioned above, many users choose a small-capacity SSD due to its high price. An SSD that doesn’t have enough free space will not be able to work as fast as before. This is because the SSD without enough free space will have to repeatedly write, which will damage the blocks in use.

Thus, you’d better store the infrequently used personal files on HDD, such as videos, movies, music, photos, and other large files.

# 3. Enable SSD TRIM Feature

As you might know, TRIM plays an important role in making an SSD work faster than an HDD. It can help OS precisely detect the data location that you want to move or delete. Once a file is deleted, the TRIM feature will command your drive to thoroughly clean the file from the sectors. That means new data can be written into the drive faster.

Therefore, make sure the SSD TRIM feature is enabled on your PC. Here’s how to enable TRIM for SSD.

Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type cmd in it and hit Enter to open the Command Prompt.

Step 2. Type the fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify command and hit Enter.

run fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

Step 3. 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.

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

run fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

# 4. Back up Your Data to Another Storage Device

Backups play an important role in data recovery. No matter what types of drives and how many drives that you use on the computer, it is always recommended to make a regular data backup. You can back up data to another storage device. Here external storage is highly recommended out of data security. For instance, if your laptop lost accidentally, you still can restore the system and individual data from the external drive. 

# 5. Never Defrag SSD

As you know, the files on an HDD are fragmented and stored in multiple locations. If the HDD is used for a long time, it will take much time to locate the files when reading and writing. In order to speed up the hard drive and improve performance, you can defrag it with Disk Defragmenter.

However, disk defragmentation is only suitable for HDD. Since SSDs have a different structure from HDD, defragmentation can’t improve SSD’s performance. In addition, it will shorten the lifespan of an SSD.

How to organize SSD and HDD on the same computer? After reading the above tips, I believe that you already have an overall understanding. Please keep reading the following part to get more professional solutions for using SSD and HDD together on one PC.

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How to Use SSD and HDD Together on One PC

As mentioned above, you should install OS and Apps on the SSD and store personal files on the HDD. It gives rise to a question – how to install SSD with existing HDD? This part will introduce you to a full guide to install OS on SSD and other effective ways to manage the drives.

Migrate OS and Apps to SSD

To install OS on the SSD with the existing HDD, you can utilize a professional tool - MiniTool Partition Wizard. It is an all-in-one partition manager. This software boasts many powerful features like Convert MBR to GPT, extend partition, align partition, and so on. You can manage SSD and HDD together on the same computer in an effective way.

Using the Migrate OS to SSD/HDD Wizard feature, you can move the previous operating system and all programs installed on the HDD to SSD. To do so, follow the detailed steps below.

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Step 1. Connect the SSD that you prepared to the same computer and launch this software to get its main interface.

Step 2. Select the existing HDD and click on the Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard feature at the left pane.

Step 3. Select Option B in the pop-up window, which will copy the system-required partitions only. After that, click on Next to go on.

copy the system required partitions only

Step 4. Select the SSD and click on Next to continue. Then you will see a warning message saying all the data on the target disk will be destroyed. Click on Yes to confirm this operation.

select a target disk to migrate OS

Step 5. Review the changes that have been made and click on Next to continue.

Tip: Here we recommend you click on Align partitions to 1MB, which can improve performance for SSD and advanced format disks.

choose a copy method

Step 6. Click on Finish button in the next window.

click on Finish

Step 7. Click on Apply to execute the pending operations.

click Apply to execute the pending operations

Now, you have installed the SSD with the existing HDD and you can use it as a boot drive. Here comes another question – how to effectively use the HDD as storage? Please keep reading.

Store Personal Data on HDD

After installing OS on the SSD, you can use the HDD as storage. To make full use of an HDD, you can categorize the personal files and place them in different partitions. For example, you can store the game data in a partition, and place the videos and movies in another partition.

MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you manage your partitions effectively. Now, let’s see how to use this tool to manage your personal data.

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Create Partitions:

First of all, you can create different partitions on the hard drive based on your needs. Here’s a full guide for you.

Step 1. Right-click the unallocated space and select Create from the pop-up menu.

click on Create

Step 2. In the pop-up window, you can specify the parameters of the partition including File System, Cluster Size, Partition Label, and so on. For example, you can create a partition named Game. After that, click on the OK button to confirm the changes.

Step 3. Click on Apply to execute all the pending operations.

set the parameters of the partition and click on Apply

Then, you can follow the above steps to create other partitions to store your personal data.

Move/Resize Partitions:

In addition to creating partitions, you can use this powerful software to further manage your partitions. For instance, you may need to extend or move the partition so as to create more space. Here’s how.

Step 1. In the main interface, select the partition that you want to adjust and click on Move/Resize Partitions from the left pane.

Step 2. Drag the tangle rightward to extend a partition or you can drag the whole partition handle towards unallocated space to move a partition. After that, click on OK to confirm the changes.

Step 3. Click on Apply to execute the pending changes.

the process of resizing partition

After that, you can try installing an SSD on a computer. If you don't know how to install an SSD, you can refer to this post.

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Bottom Line

Can I use SSD and HDD at the same time? Absolutely yes! You can follow the effective tips given by this post to use SSD and HDD together on one computer. In addition, this post provides you with detailed steps to manage your SSD and HDD.

If you have any questions about MiniTool Partition Wizard, please send us an e-mail via [email protected]. We also appreciate any ideas about this topic left in the comment area.

Can I Use SSD and HDD at the Same Time FAQ

Should I install games on SSD or HDD?
As long as there is enough free space, you should install games on SSD. This is because most SSDs have a faster loading speed when running a game than HDD. If there is an existing HDD, you can set it as a storage drive.
Is a 256GB SSD better than a 1TB hard drive?
This problem depends on how you use an SSD and HDD on one computer. You can install OS and Apps on the SSD while setting the HDD as storage. If you want to have a faster loading speed, you can choose an SSD. If your computer needs more space to store files, you can choose an HDD.
How much faster is an SSD than HDD?
According to a survey, the speed of most SSDs is faster (ranging from 5 to 20 times) than a standard HDD. If you want to get the exact read and write speed of an SSD and HDD, you can utilize a professional disk benchmark tool to do that.
SSD vs HDD which has a longer lifespan?
If you are using an SSD that is designed with SLC or MLC variants, it will have a longer lifespan than a usual hard drive. This is because hard drives are a type of mechanical device that is very likely to be damaged by many things.
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