Questions on Multiple HDDs and RAID

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I am a first time builder and I want to know If I need to be proficient in BIOS, CMOS, and jumper placements and RAID to build the system. will the manuals cover everything? I'm knowledgeable about computers and parts and Compatability. My biggest questions are:

  • Is it that much harder to install 2 HDDs? and what would I need to know?special technical knowledge, common mistakes etc...

  • Can I install a second HDD after I 've been using one for a while?

  • Another Q is opinions on which RAID is better 0, 1, or 0+1?

here's the sytem I plan to build within the next week or two:
(subject to change to meet fluctuating budget and feedback)

CPU: AMD athlon 64 3200+ (Winchester)
MoBo: Asus A8N-SLI deluxe
Video: eVGA GeForce 6600GT PCI-E SLI-ready
HDD: Maxtor 200 GB SATA
Optical:16x4x16 DVD+/-RW dulalayer
Optical 2: 16x DVD rom
monitor: 17" flat panel, 8ms, 500:1


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-Fitting a new HDD is fine, so long as you have space in your machine, and there is a spare space on a disk controller for it. Going by your specs there, you should be able to add it no problem provided there is space in your case.

-No, you can add a new HDD at any time.

-RAID 0 joins disk space to create bigger and faster volumes, but if one disk goes, you loose the lot. RAID 1 mirrors disk space, so that if you have 2 x 80GB space, all you can use is 80GB, but if one disk fails you have an identical copy and can "rebuild" your mirror easily. RAID 0+1 or RIAD 1+0 combines these to create mirrored stripes, or striped mirrors.

You can do RAID with software (using NTFS) or with hardware (using a controller on your motherboard - if it has one - or by using a dedicated card. Software RAID is less good. You can only install the OS to a hardware RAID partition with Windows 2000/XP as far as I am aware. Software RAID will not work.

Basically, you are looking at either adding a new HDD and using onboard RAID controller on your motherboard, or adding a new HDD plus controller card.
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