Spanned HDDs in Win7 and a Format

Hey, all~

I used Windows 7 to "span" three 500GB hard drives as a secondary drive (I had a 1TB as my boot drive already) for convenience.

I need to format my 1TB hard drive and reinstall Windows 7, however, and I'm wondering how to deal with the spanned volumes. I formatted my sister's computer once without realizing she had encrypted some folders, and they were lost forever, so I'm a little paranoid.

I understand now that one disk failure among the three will ruin all the data, so I'm planning on backing all that data up and separating them again, but I need to format before I do this, if possible.

So can I just format the main HDD without worry, or should I unplug the three extra HDDs first, or do I have to back them up and separate them first?

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  1. I would back up the extra hard drives first just to be on the safe side.
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