I am a newbe attempting to build a home system for photo editing and purchased two 1TB Caviar Blacks with the intention of setting up a RAID 1 for backup. However, I found out in another thread that you can't RAID the new Blacks that I own, and I can't return them, so I am seeking options.
At this point I will probably install them as two seperate drives with a SSD to house Windows 7 64.
Would it be easy to dedicate the second Black as a backup drive for the first, or should I just use both for storage and back up my files by another method? If so, what backup method would you suggest - external hard drives, DVDs, or Blu-Ray?
You can RAID those black drives if you want. The only issue is that since they don't have TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery), if one of them has problems reading data it may time out and be flagged as "dead" by the RAID array. That's not all that common an occurrence, and it doesn't put your data at risk since the other drive still has a copy.
BUT - if you don't have plans for backing up your data, then you'd be better off using the second drive as an external backup disk. There are a lot of risks to your data that RAID 1 can't protect against, so you still need to do backups. The most secure backup strategy is to have at least two OFFLINE copies of your data, one of which is OFFSITE.
I personally hate using optical discs for backup because they take a long time to burn, require a lot of manual handling (disc swapping), and the burn quality can be very marginal. Hard drives are a lot easier.