I plan to install a second hard drive in the future. I just have some questions before considering this option.
1. Do I need to configure my hard drives for Raid?
2. In the past, I used to just do a master and slave configuration on my hard drive. Back then I had 500 mb and a 160 mb hard drive. Right now I have a Seagate 1.5 TB 7200 RPM hard drive. I plan to purchase the same kind of hard drive. Would this work on a master/slave configuration?
3. What's the advantage of configuring my hard drive for Raid? I just plan to install all my back up files such as mp3s, h264 files, ms office documents, photoshop documents on the second hard drive. If that's the case do I need to configure it for Raid?
1. No...RAID 0 provides little speed benefit in 98% of desktop apps and you generally want two identical drives. RAID 1 is useful if you need data redundancy but an external drive or NAS is most often a better solution.
2. The introduction of SATA ended the Master / Slave thing
NO. As JackNaylorPE said, you do NOT need RAID for anything. You are much better just installing the second drive as a second stand-alone drive unit you can use with its own letter name. Also as he said, with SATA drives (given the sizes you say, I'm sure that is what you have) there is NO setting of Master or Slave. What you do, though, and this must already be done, is to specify in the BIOS which HDD unit the machine uses to boot from. Since it's done, you do NOT need to change that, either.
As you plan this out, read up on how you prepare a new empty drive for use by your OS. There are two steps - Partitioning and Formatting - that you must do. Some people refer to the combination of them as Initializing the drive. You can do these yourself using Windows' built in tool Disk Management, or you can get a free utility by download from the maker of your new HDD to make the job easier.