RAID comes in several levels: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 0+1. For home use, you are probably only interested in levels 0 (speed) or 1 (safety).
RAID is usually handled transparently by a hardware RAID controller. The software thinks it is talking to a single disk. Software-only RAID is a rather dangerous feature to use in Win2K.
RAID comes in several levels:
|What it Buys You||How It Works|
|0||2||extra speed||interleaved striping|
|1||2||extra reliability||hot mirror backup|
|2||2||extra reliability||Hamming code ECC disks. No commercial implementation exists.|
|3||3||extra reliability||parity info enables correcting errors on the fly|
|4||3||extra reliability||shared parity disk|
|5||3||extra reliability||stripes both data and parity info|
|6||4||extra reliability||Independent data disks with two independent parity|
|10||4||extra reliability and speed||striping and mirroring|
|50||4||extra reliability and speed||Ganging RAID 0 and 3 together.|
|0+1||4||extra reliability and speed||Ganging RAID 0 and 1 together.|
For home use, you are probably only interested in levels 0 (speed) or 1 (safety).
With a SATA (Serial ATA) drive, you need a SATA-capable, RAID-capable motherboard or add-on PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) SATA controller. You can also use SATA on a single disk without RAID. SATA drives are pretty well standard now. Of course, for RAID, you have the added expense of twice as many drives.
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