I have a 250 GB HArd Drive and its quickly running out of space, so i was planning on buying another one (maybe 500 GB). I wanted to know that when i bought it, if it would automatically set up RAID on my motherboard ( Intel DX48BT2), or if i had to buy a seperate RAID controller. And which RAID to get, because all i really need is to be able to split my data between the two drives, and for the drives to transfer data to each other in case one happenes to fail.
It is clear you want more speed, which would warrant raid0, but you also state at the end that you want it to sustain itself if one disk fails. You need three hard drives minimum to do these things, then you can decide if Raid0+1 or Raid5 is right for you. Can't do it all with two disks.
Newegg has a good deal going on the WS 640gig 7200rpm SATA drive right now. $75 and free shipping. Get two of those suckers. Or get THREE and RAID5 them.
Ultimately if you're worried about losing data, RAID is not going to help. RAID is not hot for backing up. RAID is good for uptime against physical device fails. RAID1 is still not super if you have a problem because it will write the same and delete the same from both drives--sucks if you corrupt them both for example. I suggest you just get a nice fat drive and use it. And get an external SATA capable drive and connect it for backups, then disconnect and shelf it.
Your mobo supports RAID. To use it, just boot, run bios, set the RAID array, format it, go from there.
Note: Data on that drive you have needs to be backed up before you ever think of putting it on a RAID array. It will have to be formated either way you do it. So you might as well look at something to back up on, like an external or something. You may find you don't need RAID at all for this. Just get a new drive and an external to back up on. Capacity is so cheap these days you can easily get TB level capacity for low dollars.
I just picked up an external green 1tb esata/usb drive from newegg for $119. I run RAID0 on my machine, and I store things on that external, separately, and not on RAID at all. Way easier and safer than relying on one RAID setup to do "it all".
So, if i were to go out and buy two 500 GB Drives, i could set them up on my system in a RAID array? And to keep all of my files safe, i would first put it on an external drive, and then copy them over later?
im just confused about how i could keep all of my files, but also add two 500 GB Drives!
you have a 250GB now correct? And you were going to buy a 500GB drive. I am suggesting that you buy 2 500GB drives and then add them at the same time and configure them in a RAID 1 or mirror array on the onboard controller.
Backing up to an external drive is a good idea but not required. Remember that redundancy and backup are 2 very different things. Its best to have both when possible.
If your data is your main concern then you need to understand the difference between redundancy and backup and hopefully use both.
Redundancy, or RAID (all but 0), is to keep a hard drive failure from wiping out your data but will do nothing if you lose files due to a virus, accidental deletion or overwriting a file etc. This is where backup come in you have a backup copy of your data (remember to backup often) for when something goes wrong.
Since you are in a sense switching controllers going from being set to non-riad to raid you may need to reload your OS anyway. (there are other ways but they are complicated) So yes it is a good idea to copy your data to an external backup drive such as a USB hard drive, and then start to configure your new configuration.
If your main concern is simply the security of your data then you don't really need to switch to a RAID 1 configuration, the only real purpose of having multiple hard drives in RAID 1 is to prevent physical hard drive failure from causing the loss of your data (if one drive fails your data would be backed up on the other one) however it does not protect you from software failures or system failures, if for some reason your data gets corrupted (either because of a virus or a software malfunction) chances are your data will be screwed in both drives since both drives work at the same time and mirror each other and thus you would end up with two expensive hard drives and messed up or lost data.....if the security of your files and folders is your main priority your best bet would be to back it up in an external drive whenever you want and then disconnect it when you are not using it, that way if something goes wrong on your system your backed up data would remain intact, you can also use software programs like acronis,carbonite and norton shadow (i think that's the name) to back up your stuff in remote servers so regardless of what happens to your system your data will be safe..... the prices for these softwares are usually competitive (like 50 bucks for the year or so...i used to work for carbonite) and the programs are easy to use. There is no need for you to worry about RAID unless you want better hard drive performance or you are considering running multiple OS's.