Newbie RAID1 install and management questions

I decided to install RAID1 on my computer.
I've never done this, so I'm kind of greenhorn. :D
I have some questions:
1.Where can I find some good documentation regardind RAID technology(how to install, management)
2. Can I make partitions on both drives, like in the old fashion way? Or do I have to leave the drives with a single partition?
3. If for some reason I decide to reinstall the OS, do I have to backup the important files somewhere else before reinstall? That brings back to my 2nd question related to partitions.
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More about newbie raid1 install management questions
  1. First question would be why do you want RAID-1...

    1. Google is your friend, youll only really need to know what it is what its used for and how. What will be covered by a wiki article. How will be covered in your motherboard manual (assuming its onboard RAID implementation)

    2. With RAID-1 you wont be making partitions on both drives in the sense that they will show as one. And yes you can still partition as you always would have.

    3. If they are that important they should be backed up anyways, bit of a non-issue after me answering 2. ;)
  2. thx
    OK, OS let me get this straight.
    i can partition both drives C & D.
    After the 1st OS install, windows will show only one drive even though i have 2 physical drives. I will probably see partition C & D
    Ok, if I decide to reinstall the OS, I will be able to install on partion c on the 1st drive.
    What happens next with the 2nd drive which has the old OS?
    It will be overwritten?
    That's why i asked for a good reference book.
    i checked google, but so far i found only scattered information
    i'll keep looking
  3. Ok let me get this straight you have one drive now, with an OS installed and you want to add a second disk for RAID-1? If this is true then you will need to wipe the old drive before creating the array (you could image the drive and place it back after creating the array if you want to keep it).

    RAID-1 is mirror which means the drive you add will not add more space it will simply mirror the other drive (same data on both drives but appear as one). In general this will slow down read write speeds.

    RAID-0 is striping, which places blocks of data on the either disk. This doubles your effective space but is not redundant against drive failure. It will speed up read and write speeds.
  4. Attempting to evaluate a Raid 1 solution (or not) of a large, frequently read but less frequently written, drive. I believe someone above said that one should backup important data instead of relying on Raid 1. What is the purpose to Raid 1 then if it is not considered sort of a backup? (Curious)

    I have been considering in fact a StarTech SAT3520U2ER to add 2 "Raid 1" 1TB drives to my eSata currently on the rear of my system to replace the current single 1TB drive now attached. The light bulb finally went off of "how do I manage a Raid 1 array once I have set one up?".

    Does this and other Raid 1 solutions come with software that monitors the condition of the drives? How do I know when one goes bad or is beginning to fail? What are the typical fail scenarios and is Raid 1 all it is cooked up to be? How many scenarios are there, assuming where one drive is good and one fails, that Raid 1 won't provide for 100% data recovery?

    For example in the documentation for this hardware, the StarTech, there is nothing relating to Raid 1 management software other than just the software to set the type of array upon installation. Am I missing something? I see plenty of talk about Raid 1 and it's benefits, but most of the time the text sort of reads, "Raid 1 is safe but now let's get to setting up your fast Raid 0 config".
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