Im using this guide for myself too. Most of the time Im forgetting things. I may come back and update this if I miss a step.
There are different type of raid. Do most of us use them. This guide will only show you how to setup raid 1 mirror drives. Here you can find more info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
What is a raid 1?
A RAID 1 setup protects data from a drive failure by simultaneously writing data to two hard drives a master drive and a backup (or mirror) drive. Since the second drive carries an exact copy of the first, it provides no usable storage capacity. RAID 1 offers no gain in drive performance.
I have wuploadork with different Raids. I only work with them in server with different company I go work for.
I be using Window XP on this guide. I will post other guide for vista/windows 7.
NOTE: Some motherboard has a bulit in raid. Go to your bios and On Chip ATA Devices. If you have the option Raid Mode. Go to your manufacturer’s website get the drivers for the raid and save them to a floppy disk. Than you don't have to spent money on a raid card.
The things you need to start
* Make sure your computer case can support two drives and at least one pci or pci-e slot
* Floppy Disk- If you have a extranl floppy disk that should work. Windows installation won't install the drivers from an optical drive. (you don't have to worry on Windows Vista or 7 you can use usb drive).
*RAID controller- If your mother doesn't have a built in raid. You need to purchase one that support Raid 1. Make sure you have at least one pci slot or if you have pci-e slot you can use it. Make sure what you buying.
* Two Hard Drive- I would recommed Sata the same model and size. Make sure you have two sata cable.
Step 1: Installing the Raid Controller
When purchase raid controller it come with a floppy disk or cd. If it came with cd. You must copy the files from the cd to the root of the floppy disk.
Install the raid controller into the pci slot or pci-e slot. Connect the sata cable ends to the two sata port of the raid controller. The other ends go to the two hard drives you going to install.
If your motherboard has a built in raid. You need to go to your manufacturer’s website and download the drivers for the raid. save them to a floppy disk. Make sure you read the manual to enable the raid.
For built in raid read your manuel to setup the drives.
Step 2: Hard Drives
Im going to replace two Samsung 160Gb hard drive they went bad.
Im going to install two Seagate 250GB each.
If you wondering if I had back up the data. Yes I did just the data. Im going to install Windows from new that you can see the steps. Beside it was showing error on Windows. Didn’t wanna make an image and image it back to the new drive and fight with it repairing it.
Step 3: Installing the Hard Drive in the Case
Install two hard into their slot. Connect the power and sata cable raid controller.
Step 4: While in the Bios
Just turn on the computer and keep an eye on the sceen you should see a command line with sata raid. To enter the menu to the raid card. You need to carefully look what key to press like my was Ctrl+A other many have different key to press.
Step 5: Within the Raid Menu
You should be in the menu of the raid controller
1. Disk utilities and make sure you see the two hard drives.
2. Select the drives to create array. Pick 00 and last 01
3. Array Properties. Array Type You will have many Raid options to choose from. In this guide we going to use Raid 1 Mirror.
4. Once you select the raid your ready to built. Sometime gave you option to built quick. You can but how can you be sure if the drives are good.
5. As you can see it building already. It may take hours to finish mirror the drive. but you don't have to wait for it. You can start installing Windows. Just exit out of the configure.
Step 6: Getting the Drivers
Now have your Windows cd and Floppy disk ready.
Insert the cd ( If your computer doesn't have the option to select what you wanna boot frist than you need to go within the bios and boot option and tell it to boot from cd drive frist).
Boot from Cd once Windows setup begain insert the floppy disk.
1.Look at the bottom screen when you see the blue windows setup. Look for F6 and press few time to load the drives.
2. If you press F6. It will read the floppy disk and if you have the correct drivers gave you an option to select the driver you wanna use. Press Enter.
3. Once the drivers is load. It will gave you an option. If you sure you have the right drivers. Press S.
Step 7: Formating the Drive
1. Welcome to setup. Press Enter to enter the setup Windows.
2. Your goign to create a partition.
3. Once you partition. Your ready to setup Windows xp on the selected item.
4. This one is up to you if you think the drives are good than I would go with Quick Format.
5. It will begain formatting the hard drive.
Step 8: Last Step Installing Windows
1.This is the last step installing Windows. You will still need to stay in front of the computer. May ask you to name the computer. On the drivers it may tell you about the drivers for the raid just say yes.
2. Windows Xp loading.
3. As you can see now Windows Xp is already install. You notice you only see one drive. The other drive is in mirror.
Well that all with Raids
Before installing any program or updates. I would recommend going to the Raid controller utility and check the building status and let it finish.