I have an old IDE drive running Vista and other valuable software. I cannot just reinstall the software as it is registered to this computer, but I want to upgrade the small 30GB IDE drive to a newer SATA drive. How can I make an exact copy of it, so I can remove the IDE drive and no problems occur?
Secondly, once I have the SATA drive so it boots, can I just turn on RAID through the mobo install the second SATA drive and it make a copy of everything on the 2nd drive?
AFAIK, when you establish two drives as a RAID 1 array, you will "destroy" the data on them.
One approach would be to install the two new drives, boot into BIOS, and establish them as a RAID 1 array. Then use one of the cloning approaches above (Acronis is a great product, whether you use their version or the WD) and clone your C drive to the new array.
Then disconnect your C drive, and reboot.
Note that WIndows will detect it is now on a new HD, and at some point will ask you to reactivate. The reactivation process should be easy to do online.
Be careful about your other "registered software". They may also detect the transition, and whatever procedure they require may have to be followed.