Fresh Win 7 install with an SSD and a set of RAID 1 storage drives...

I'm doing a fresh install for the 3rd or 4th time on this machine (I got a new 256gb SSD that I'm using as the OS drive), and I've heard conflicting things about the best method to install Windows with my configuration of 2 SATA drives in RAID 1 and an SSD for the operating system.

1. The first suggestion (and the way that I previously installed Windows last time on this machine/configuration) is to only have the SSD connected and install Windows on the SSD as if that were going to be the only drive, then connect the two other drives and set up the RAID 1 afterwards. The person who suggested this method said that this will keep the 100mb boot partition on the SSD, rather than Windows possibly placing it on any of the other connected drives. When I did this previously, I believe I had to do some registry hack to be able to set up the RAID after Windows installation (which I would prefer not to do again, if there's no benefit).

2. The second method is to just hook up the SSD and the RAID drives from the get-go, and install Windows as normal (selecting the SSD as the system drive of course).

Pretty simple question, should I go with method 1 or method 2 (or maybe a different method)? Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Relevant system specs:

-Asrock Z68 Xtreme3 gen3 mobo
- 2 1tb 7200RPM storage drives (to be set up in RAID 1 in Intel RST)
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  1. I vote for method 1, myself. Unless you want the boot and recovery partition on the RAID array. The idea is for you to be able to do a repair even if the SSD gets messed up, but my opinion is that this just introduces delays and an additional point of failure into the main goal, booting.

    The registry hack should not be needed if you have the chipset disk controllers set to RAID mode when the install is done to the single SSD. If you are referring to what I think you are, it's for a Win7 installation that was accidentally done with the controller in IDE mode.
  2. Thanks for the reply. Yup, already did number 1, and kept it in RAID mode, and didn't have to do any registry hacks.
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