By Ivy / Last Updated March 4, 2020

Can you use an SSD and HDD together?

“I know this isn’t easy to answer over the Internet. But I’m building my first pc and I want to use my SSD for OS and HDD for storage. I kind of know the basics but I heard about partitioning the HDD which I get confused on. Can someone please help”

Benefits of using SSD for OS and HDD for storage

Today, many users want to setup SSD for OS and HDD for storage, one of the main reasons is that SSD has better performance and HDD has a larger capacity at the same price.

Specifically, SSDs are lighter, quieter, more durable, produce less heat, and consume less power. Besides, the SSDs does not have any moving part and it’s less likely to get damaged. So, you can use it for OS and frequently used software without any obstacle.

However, some users report that the cloned SSD won’t boot after cloning. So, you may need a trust and reliable software.

Need a trust and reliable OS migration software for Windows

To be honest, there are many OS migration software on the market, but it’s not easy to distinguish which one is great or not. Here, I’ll show you some requirements that every good software should have.

  • Ensure secure boot after cloning OS from HDD to SSD. This is the most basic and important requirement for a OS migration software.

  • Have the ability to clone all the branded SSDs from HDD, including SanDisk, Samsung, HP, Dell, etc.

  • Support cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD with intelligent clone.

  • Allow you to make use of all the unallocated space with Resize Partition feature, after cloning hard drive to larger drive.

  • Allow you to clone all sector of the old drive to new SSD with Sector By Sector Clone.

Based on the standards above, I recommend you AOMEI Backupper Professional. It fully supports these features above. Besides, it still has a clear interface and user-friendly design, which makes users understand easily, even for beginners. Just get it and lean the detailed steps in the following.

Use SSD for OS and HDD for storage

To use SSD as OS and HDD as storage in Windows 10/8/7, there are two common situations. For different situations, the method is a little different.

1. You get a brand new computer and want to use SSD and HDD together. In this situation, you need to create an installation media using ISO from Microsoft Download center and then clean install OS on the SSD disk. After that, you need to format HDD with built-in tool Disk Management.

2. You have an old computer with multiple installed programs and newly added data, such as, pictures, music, video, document, etc and you don’t want to reinstall them and can’t afford data loss. You need to clone only OS to SSD with AOMEI Backupper and check if it’s bootable, then delete the original OS on the HDD.

By comparison, this situation is more common. So, I’ll take the second situation as an example to show you what you need to know. Before starting to clone system, you need to do some preparations at first.

  • Make sure that the case of your computer can contain 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drive. In general, SSD is 3.5-inch while HDD is 2.5 inch.

  • Prepare a 120GB SSD at least.

Part 1: Use SSD for OS only with AOMEI Backupper Professional

Step 1. Connect the prepared SSD to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it. Then, click System Clone under the Clone tab.

Choose System Clone

Step 3. Select the prepared SSD as destination path only, because AOMEI has selected the system partition and boot related partition by default.

Select Prepared SSD

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to improve the writing and reading speed of SSDs. Then, you can click Start Clone if there is no problem.

Tick SSD Alignment

Step 5. Check if the cloned SSD is bootable. Restart your computer and press the specific key (eg: ESC, F2, etc) on the initial screen, then change SSD as the first boot option via “Shift and +” and press 10 to save changes and exit BIOS window. After that, it will start as normal.


Now, you are half done if the new SSD is bootable and just need to format the hard disk for storage.

Part 2: Format HDD for storage with Disk Management

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run window, then type diskmgmt.msc in the box and hit Enter.

Step 2. Right-click your disk and select Format from the context menu.

Format HDD for Storage

Step 3. In the pop-up window, choose FAT32 or NTFS file system and click Next until the last step, then hit Finish. And wait for the final result.


Speaking of how to use SSD for OS and HDD for storage, there are 2 common used ways for different situations, including clean install from scratch and migrate OS from HDD to SSD with OS migration software AOMEI Backupper. The first one is suitable for users who has a brand new computer while the second one is used on the old computer with multiple apps and files. Just try the one suitable for you.

If you use AOMEI Backupper to clone system, there is still one thing you need to consider. That’s to say, AOMEI Backupper Professional is for home users, because it only supports protecting operating system and data on the several computers. If you has multiple computers, you’d better use AOMEI Backupper Tech or TechPlus. It supports unlimited PCs and Servers, such as, Windows 7, 8, 10 and Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, etc. Besides, it provides billable technical services to unlimited clients.