Configuring RAID 1 on W7 Pro x64

Hi, I'm looking for advice about how to set up a RAID 1; that will be just about the final step in my first computer build.

I've installed Windows 7 Pro x64 on a 256GB SSD, and it works fine. I'll also be installing Photoshop CC and some other, less demanding, programs on the SSD. I also have two 4TB mechanical HDDs that I want to use in a RAID 1 array, for my data (mostly a zillion photographs). They're in the case, but they weren't connected when I installed Windows.

I've read a bunch of posts on different forums, and here's how I *think* I should proceed. Please let me know if I'm missing anything or just plain wrong (entirely possible)!

With the power off, I connect the two HDDs, then boot Windows and go to Computer Management. Under Storage, I choose Disk Management, and the two HDDs will be shown there (they aren't now, since they aren't connected). I select the two HDDs (but not the SSD), and then - okay, I don't know what then. Right click and choose . . . something? Will I need to initialize and partition and quick format the disks, or does putting them in a RAID do that automatically?

I'm looking at doing the setup in Windows, rather than in the BIOS, because I read that that way your RAID can outlive your motherboard, which seems sensible to me. Does it to you?

Thanks in advance; this forum is an awesome resource!
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  1. Best answer
    if you have both the HDD's plugged in through the SATA 6GB/s connections, just setup RAID in bios, you should do it in bios as it is the best way to do it.

    RAID doesn't happen automatically, you have to do it manually, if the HDD isn't formatted, you'll need to do that. To do that just right click and select format.
  2. For a windows software raid 1 - From Disk management Rt click on one of the drives and then click on new mirrored volume. this should bring up the 'Wizard' where you would select the other drive as the mirror. Then choose a letter followed by the usual formatting of the drive.

    Please be aware that by raiding the two disks together that you create 1 drive and one drive should never hold your only copy of important files. If you don't have a backup plan, and raid is never a backup, please look into one asap.
  3. in RAID, if one drive fails, you loose everything, so as popatim said, make sure you have a backup plan.
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