RAID Without RAID
RAID modes 2 to 6 can be implemented only if the appropriate hardware RAID controller is available. On the other hand, RAID 0 and 1 are offered directly by Windows 2000 or Windows XP - as long as there are several hard drives.
Under disk administration of the computer administration console, you can, among other things, change partitions and drive letters. You can also connect two or more hard drives to form a software RAID.
The article RAID Without Additional Hardware: Do It Yourself With Windows 2000 tells you everything you need to know to set up a software RAID unter Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
There Are Limits
RAID arrays are certainly an excellent approach to solving chronic performance deficits and improving your sense of security. Let us mention, though, that they are not able to perform miracles, and do not absolve the user or the administrator from backing up his or her data periodically.
For example, a RAID controller cannot withstand short circuits or lightning, meaning that, in the worst case scenario, your data could be toast. Therefore, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is part of the required equipment in productive or otherwise critical systems.
Furthermore, a RAID array only offers protection from technical errors - the human factor, however, should not be underestimated. Most users have had to live with lost data because they carelessly deleted or hastily clobbered them - the same holds true with the RAID.
The chapter on human-related causes also includes malicious attacks on the existing data, or acts of the "powers that be." These involve attacks on software (deleting, formatting, renaming, software bugs), as well as physical threats (theft, vandalism, arson, floods, etc.).
Don't forget - only a backup is truly safe.