I have a question about setting up raid drives. I am building a new machine. I am using the Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 TH. I am using 2 WD 1 TB drives. I have not installed Windows 7 yet. Can I install Windows 7 64 on both drives? I am thinking should the 1st drive fail, I should be able to just boot from the other drive. Also what are the differences of raid 0, 1, 5, 10 ? The motherboard does support all those. Thanks
Not what I would recommend. You would have to make sure to install apps, updates/patches, and settings on both. Not efficient at all.
If you want optimal speed and want more space, then raid 0 is your answer, but if one drive goes bad then you have to re-install everything. Raid 1 provides some protection as they mirror each other - if one drive goes bad, replace it and the array will rebuild your data automatically.
Other raids beyond 0 and 1 require more drives.
But the real answer is to make a backup image of your 'pristine' installation - OS, apps, utilities, settings - onto removable media that can be protected (a fire safe or relative/friend's house). The only problem with this approach is you restore back to that point - so if you only do backups once every year or so.... that's a lot of lost updates, patches, and data.
For your purposes, I suggest going with raid 1 since you seem to want to be able to quickly be back up and running.
Get another hard drive and do a Raid-5.
Raid-0 is stripping (uses both drive at once for performance)
Raid-1 is mirroring (so if one goes bad, you have the exact data on the other)
Raid-5 is redundant stripping on all drives (you can rebuild if you lose one, but if you lose 2, you're screwed)
Raid-10 is 2 raid-0s in a raid-1 setup (4 drives required)
Raid-50 is 5 raid-5 in a raid-1 (you would need a large SAN array for this and 2 controllers)
I have four drives in each of my two systems. Drive #1 is a SSD system drive, with Windows and applications on it. Drives #2 and #3 are set up in RAID1 for data. Should one fail, the other drive should be able to continue running until I can replace the failed drive. Drive #4 is used to hold weekly image backups of drive #1.