RAID1 or RAID5 for use in WIN7?

Following a HDD crash where i lost most of my data i am building a new PC and am considering using RAID for data redundancy.
I read through the FAQ and other online materials but still have some questions on what's the best RAID setup for me.

My setup:
Core i5 4670k
Asus Z87 Pro mobo
Win7 ultimate on SSD
1 WD 2T Red HDD with pics, videos, personal docs (will get more HDDs to setup RAID)

I would like to use RAID only for my personal data on the HDDs and not for the SSD where Win7 and my programs reside (it's only about 50GB so i can create a bootable back up image easily).

Q1: Can RAID be configured to only mirror the HDD data and ignore the SSD where the OS is?

Q2: i already have data on the HDD. If i set up RAID5 or RAID1, will this erase the existing data? I will do a clean install of the OS on the SSD but would like to keep (and duplicate) the data on the HDD.

Q3: I like that RAID5 uses less HDDs and still provides redundancy. The Z87-Pro motherboard supports HW RAID5 but Win7 doesn't support SW RAID5. If i set up HW RAID5 through the motherboard, will it create issues or limitations when i use it in Win7? Would you recommend using HW RAID 5 in Win7?

Thanks for your help.
I'm assembling a PC for the first time so RAID is really pushing the limits of the technical expertise :)
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More about raid1 raid5 win7
  1. Best answer
    A safer bet is simply another copy of your important data, on another drive. Say an external. Even safer is two externals, one off-site. Rotate weekly.

    RAID can only protect so much. It will faithfully reproduce accidental file deletions, viruses, file corruption, etc.
    A disconnected drive still has a copy of your original file, no matter what you do to the working copy on your PC.
    It's great for constant access if a drive dies. Not so much for data integrity and backups.

    RAID is not a backup.
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