Long story short: I have 4 SSDs: a 60GB boot drive I want to get rid of, a Mushkin 120GB drive I'm currently using for game installs, and two new 120GB Kingston SSDs. What I want to do is:
* Set up the new drives as a RAID-0, and transfer everything currently on the Mushkin drive over to the RAID
* Wipe the Mushkin drive and remove the 60GB entirely. Do a clean Windows install on the Mushkin drive, use it as my new boot drive.
I want to set up this RAID now, move some stuff onto it, then swap out my boot drive. I have to do it in that order because I have nowhere else to store the current contents of the Mushkin drive; the alternative is to be stuck re-installing all my games to the new drives, which is doable but would be a royal pain.
Will the process of doing a fresh Windows install and replacing my old boot drive have any affect on the RAID volume and its data? Once I'm up and running on my fresh Windows install, will that RAID volume and all my game installs be there?
I'll be using the hardware RAID feature of my Gigabyte 990FX-UD3 mobo, and installing Win 7 Ultimate x64, if that makes any difference. Basically, I just don't trust Windows not to mangle anything and everything until proven otherwise
1. the Gigabyte 990FX-UD3 has no hardware raid. AMD and Intel try to tell you that, but it's still a software raid that doesn't work without the appropriate drivers.
2. With a clean install of windows on the new SSD you will loose whatever the games installed in the windows directory and under shared components and what they wrote to the registry. You will have to reinstall them for sure.
3. Don't expect any noticeable performance boost from a raid0 with SSDs. The most you get is the setup and driver trouble.
D'oh! Good to know. I could have sworn I made sure to get one with hardware RAID support, but I guess not. If I won't see performance gains worth the effort of setup, I guess I'll just use one new drive as my new boot volume, and the other one as a second 120GB gaming SSD.
Unless you see a dedicated raid chip like from LSI in the specs, there is no hardware raid and you will find those only on server boards. Anyway your new config with to separate SSDs looks good. Check the firmware before you start! Updating the boot SSD later is a hassle.