Ok so long story short (we all hate long stories) i thought i set up raid 0 and after downloading things realized that i must not have. Is there any way to set up raid 0 without having to remove everything (including windows)? As i am fairly new to computers, as you may have guesses, a step by step process would help greatly although all answers are welcome and appreciated.
Fully agree with those who advised against RAID0 for you. Besides, these days RAID0 does not give you a BIG speed improvement. However, an SSD WILL be noticeably faster than any storage system based on rotating mechanical drives. You would disconnect your current HDD, then install the SSD, then re-install your OS on it and use it as your boot drive called C:. After that you re-connect your HDD.
Now want to tell Windows that you want to change the location of many of its default Folders like My Programs, My Documents, My Photos, etc. and put them on the D: drive, too. That way you won't fill up the SSD (fast, but limited capacity) with stuff you don't really need FAST access to.
Now you still have a bit of a problem. All the application software you've already installed on your old drive will need to be re-installed. You see, "install" also includes placing data in the Windows Registry on where the app software is located. A new installation of your OS on the SSD will have no clue that you have app software sitting on the HDD, so you must Install to get the Registry clued in. And in doing so, for the majority of apps you will want it to install NOT to your C: drive (as is usually the default), but to the D: drive (that is, your HDD that now has a new name).
THEN for each of the re-installed apps, you should go into them and change (if necessary) the locations of THEIR default folders for files you create. (Most of the time they will try to put the files on C:, although some may put them in My Documents which you already have told Windows to place on the D: drive, right?)
The old installation of Windows on the HDD will just be unused files. (After you've got it all running, you might even be able to delete those files, but you may have to unprotect them first.) But to be sure about that, when you install the SSD and later re-install the HDD, make sure in BIOS that the Boot Priority Sequence is set to use the SSD and does NOT include the old HDD anywhere in its list of potential boot devices.
Re-Install programs by running their INSTALL software from the original installation CD. Now, that will appear to the software manufacturer as a second Install of the same package, so you'll have to explain and persuade them you are not doing an illegal Install. Just to be sure, maybe phone their Tech Support line first to clear with them how they handle this. The Install should be done to the old HDD, whatever it's called - maybe D:? or E":? BUT if you have already told Windows that you want the My Programs to be on that drive, and an app's Install process wants to put it in My Programs, then you're golden. Check also whether other groups of files have specific Install locations - like the places for document templates and clipart collections.