Have you ever wondered if you could use solid-state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD) at the same time in your computer? Many people are curious about this topic for a good reason. Having both storage options available has its benefits.

In this article, we’ll go over the advantages of SSD and HDD, how to set them up together, and some comparisons between using both storage methods versus using them separately.

By the end of this article, you should have a better idea of whether or not using both SSD and HDD drives is right for you and your storage needs.

Let’s dive in!

Why Use SSD and HDD Together?

As you might already know, SSDs and HDDs are two popular computer storage types, each with strengths and weaknesses. SSDs are faster but more expensive and typically offer less storage space.

HDDs, on the other hand, are slower but cheaper and can offer more storage space. However, using SSDs and HDDs together, you can take advantage of both benefits, creating a more efficient and cost-effective storage solution.

One of the main advantages of using both types of storage together is speed. SSDs are much faster compared to their HDD counterparts. SSDs don’t have moving parts, meaning they can quickly access data.

You can expect faster startup and program load times if you store your operating system and frequently used programs on an SSD.

Meanwhile, you can use the HDD for storing data that doesn’t need to be accessed as quickly, such as movies, music, and documents.

Another advantage of combining SSDs and HDDs is cost-effectiveness. While SSDs are becoming more affordable, they are still more expensive than HDDs.

Using both types of storage together, you can save money by purchasing a small SSD for your operating system and commonly used programs while using a larger, more affordable HDD for storing data files. This method lets you keep your computer running fast while staying within budget.

Moreover, using an SSD and HDD together can create more storage space. Even though SSDs are typically smaller in capacity than HDDs, you can store important operating system files and frequently used programs while keeping less essential and large files on the HDD.

This means you can have fast and plentiful storage without spending more on a large-capacity SSD.

By using both types of storage, you can also have a more streamlined backup solution. For example, you could use an SSD to store a recent backup of your most important files, such as family photos, important documents, or creative work, while using an HDD to store a second backup of all other files.

This can give you peace of mind knowing that you have backups of all your important files in two places while keeping the cost minimal.

As with anything, there are some potential downsides to using SSD and HDD together. For example, managing and organizing files across two storage solutions may be difficult.

There could also be a slight decrease in performance if you’re constantly jumping between SSD and HDD. However, for the most part, the benefits of combining SSDs and HDDs outweigh the drawbacks.

Whether to use both types of storage ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and usage requirements.

How to Use SSD and HDD Together?

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using SSD and HDD together, let’s dive into how to set them up together. While it may seem daunting, configuring both storages is easy for anyone to do with little guidance.

Firstly, you’ll want to decide what operating system you will use. You can use an operating system like Windows, macOS, or Linux. Once you’ve chosen your preferred operating system, it’s time to install it on your computer.

To do this, you will need to create a bootable media using a USB flash drive or a DVD. You will usually find detailed instructions on how to do this in the installation guide of your operating system.

Ensure that your SSD is connected and set up as your primary drive while your HDD is connected as a secondary drive. Your primary drive will usually be labeled as “C:”, while the secondary drive can be labeled as “D:” or the next letter in the alphabet.

After installing your operating system, you can begin configuring your storage options. Depending on your operating system, you can configure your storage from the BIOS or within the system.

For example, if you’re using Windows, you can configure your storage by opening Disk Management, a tool that comes with Windows. You can access Disk Management by right-clicking on “This PC” and selecting “Manage.”

From there, you will see all the available drives on your system—including your SSD and HDD. You can then choose which drive to partition and format, such as designating the SSD for the operating system and important programs and the HDD for movies, music, and other large data files.

Related: 256GB vs 512GB SSD: How Much Storage Do You Really Need?

When saving a file to your computer, you can select which storage drive to save it. For example, if you’re downloading a movie, you can save it directly to your HDD. If you’re saving an important document, save it directly to your SSD.

This will ensure that frequently accessed files are stored on the faster SSD for quick access. Some programs may even allow you to set the default save location so you don’t have to select it each time manually.

Lastly, it’s essential to troubleshoot any issues that may arise between the two drives. One of the most common issues is when your computer doesn’t recognize the HDD after connecting it. If this happens to you, ensure that the power and data cables are properly connected.

Another issue you might face is that certain programs may try installing themselves on the smaller SSD, even if you’ve designated the HDD as the primary storage drive. In this case, always double-check the installation settings to ensure that everything is being installed in the correct location.

Configuring SSD and HDD together may seem intimidating initially, but with patience and practice, anyone can do it. By organizing the files in the appropriate storage location, you can better manage your computer files and keep your system running smoothly.

Comparison Of Using SSD And HDD Together Versus Separate

One of the biggest advantages of using SSD and HDD together is cost-effectiveness. While SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, you can save significant money by purchasing a smaller SSD for your operating system and frequently used programs and a larger HDD for storing data files.

This allows you to keep your performance fast while staying within your budget.

However, if you use SSD and HDD drives separately, you may spend more money on larger SSDs to achieve the same storage capacity. This can be expensive, particularly if you need a lot of storage for your essential files.

Next, let’s look at speed and performance. SSDs are much faster and more reliable than HDDs and are generally much less prone to failures because they don’t have any moving parts.

When you use an SSD as your primary storage drive, you can expect faster startup times, faster program load times, and better computer performance.

On the other hand, using an HDD as your primary drive can slow down your system because of its slower read and write speeds. This can lead to longer load times for applications and larger files alone and can even result in the freezing and crashing of your system if the drive becomes too full or corrupted.

However, using an SSD and HDD together can get the best of both worlds. You can maximize your system’s performance and storage capacity by designating the SSD as the primary drive for your operating system and frequently used programs and using the HDD for storing large data files.

One downside to using SSD and HDD drives together is the potential for file organization and management issues. When your files are spread out across different drives, keeping track of where everything is stored can be challenging, particularly if you have many files.

This can be mitigated by developing a folder structure and using an intuitive naming convention when saving files so you always know where everything is.

Lastly, let’s consider convenience and ease of use. When you use an SSD and HDD together, managing your files can be trickier, particularly if you’re not used to working with both drives.

On the other hand, if you use only one type of storage, it can be easier to keep track of everything in one place. However, the additional work is worth it if you prioritize speed and performance.


Using SSD and HDD drives together or separately depends on your priorities and budget. By using both drives together, you can take advantage of the speed and performance of SSDs, the larger storage capacity of HDDs, and save money in the process.

However, it is important to remember that using both drives together can result in potential file organization and management issues.

On the other hand, if you prioritize speed and performance over storage capacity, an SSD as your primary drive is the best option. It is faster, more reliable, and less likely to fail. However, if you need more storage capacity and are on a budget, using an HDD as your primary drive is the way to go.

No matter which option you choose, developing good file organization and management habits is essential to keep your files organized and easily accessible. Doing this will ensure that your computing experience remains as hassle-free as possible.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

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