RAID 1 Question before installing Win 7

I posted this in the windows 7 forum but figured it might have been the wrong section and don't know how to change it. Sorry for that. I'm just going to repeat what i said in the other thread.

Right now I am trying to setup a RAID 1 and installing windows 7 as well without a third party RAID controller. I am simply using an ASUS sabertooth z87 MB with a core i7 4770k. My main concern is for data protection.

My current approach is that I have two 1TB HDD connected and setup as RAID 1 in the bios and intel utility PRIOR to installing windows 7 (SATA set to RAID mode in BIOS) In effect windows 7 should only see one drive during installation.

I have also been reading people talk about installing windows 7 on one 1TB HDD and then install windows 7 and raid drivers AFTER installing windows 7 and then adding the second 1TB HDD(SATA set to AHCI mode in BIOS) which in effect lets windows 7 take care of the RAID 1 instead of the bios and stuff (im assuming).

My question is do these two make a difference and is one more reliable than the other? My main goal is that when one drive fails I want to simply replace that drive and i'll be back to normal with a painless rebuilding of the mirror and that the computer can still function if one drive fails.

I understand that RAID 1 does not replace regular backups. If anyone can recommend other, easier or more efficient ways or setting up a RAID 1 I would appreciate that as well.

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  1. I don't think there is much of a difference performance wise. Using the motherboard raid, you probably have drivers for more than one OS so it can be used with multiple OS's. Windows raid is for windows only of course. It will convert your disks to "dynamic". Some windows OS's can't boot from dynamic disks, only basic disks so transferring the raid to another windows system may or may not be possible.
  2. with raid 1 it doesnt make a real difference since both chipset raid and software raid the cpu does the work.
    but fwiw, in a striped raid/raid0 its much easier to deal with it via bios raid. things like accessing the array from outside of windows are possible. taking the drives out and reinstalling them later or into a different motherbd will still have the array accessible. Accidentally installing the drives into different sata ports wont matter...

    Things like that.
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