Need to reformat...several questions

i am going to reformat due to a lingering malware issue. I have not reformatted a hard drive since I had Windows 98 so I have a few questions...I would so appreciate some help.

1. I plan to back up the few things I need saved (documents, pictures etc.) on a thumb drive, is this pretty safe? My machine shows clean from all malware (scanned with norton, malwarebytes and checked by a malware forum with dds) it just has a bunch of issues leftover that would be easier to fix with a reformat.

2. I have 3 Seagate hard drives, each 500 gb. This is a homebuilt pc and the guy thay helped me build it set it up with RAID5. I barely know what that means so i am not sure if the RAID set up will be affected by a reformat. I don't remember how he set it up..will I have to do that again? I'm assuming not since it is a BIOS thing but don't want to get stuck.

3. What is the easiest way to reformat the drive(s) and do i need to reformat all three of them? After backup do i just right click on the drive and select Format? I am just going to be reinstalling Windows so they don't need to be securely wiped.

Thank you so much, i am such a newb.

Homebuilt pc w/ i7 2.8 ghz, 6 mb RAM, two Nvidia 250gts, three 500gb hard drives, Windows 7 Pro x64.
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  1. You can backup things on your flash drive - that should be safe.

    You shouldn't have to worry about the RAID. After you back everything up you'll want to put in the windows disk, have the computer boot from the optical drive, and then as you're going through the install it will eventually ask you where you want to put the new installation. Obviously you want to pick the 1TB drive (this is the size of 3 500GB drives in RAID5). I don't remember the exact process, but you're going to want to reformat the drive during the install. I think this will involve deleting the old partition and creating a new one.

    You do not want to right click on the drive and format. That will not work on the OS drive.

    Also you have 6GB of RAM, not 6MB. Just an FYI.
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