It looks like my HD is failing ( strange noise, appllications taking forever to open with a not responding notice, a couple of applications consistently bsoding, diagotics immedietly returning a read/write failure, etc..)
My question was that I was going to replace the bad drive with 2 new drives of the same make and size and run configure them for RAID 1, reinstall windows 7. Ive never configured a RAID array, so does it only entail connecting both drives to the motherboard and installing windows 7 normally or is windows 7 installed on one drive first, or does the the drives have to be configured for RAID 1 prior to windows installation?
It's good that you got 2 identical drives for RAID!
First determine which SATA ports have the RAID controller; this will be explained in the motherboard manual. Connect the 2 RAID drives to these ports. Start the computer and get into the BIOS. Setup RAID 1 (mirroring).
When the RAID 1 array is working properly, install the OS (Win 7).
All this is explained quite well in the motherboard manual. Glad you picked RAID 1 and not RAID 0 (striping).
You need to enable raid in the bios then on the next boot, you should see a RAID bios option with a key combination that you will need to enter the raid bios. There you can configure the raid setup (make sure the array is set to bootable).