2 hard drives?

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Leading into my question--->Did you know that when you install a new MB windows XP Pro recognizes it as new hardware? Sound like a dumb question, but get this Windows XP Pro has a built in feature that if you install more that three new hardware items, it will make you reinstall or repair Windows? Security, Security.  I found out installing a MB is a minimum of 13 new hardware items. What a nightmare. Lets just say I purchased HOME version and happen upon the PRO version.  So, in fear of losing my data on my hard drive I purchased a new hard drive. So, finally to my question. Whats the best way to configure two hard drives? Presently, I have one as the master and the other as a slave on channel 1. Should I have just windows on one and all of my programs on the other. I heard you should only have the master with no slave, for speed or accesibilty. Anyway I have channels 3 and 4 open with the option of running RAID, but really do not understand the whole RAID thing.
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Commented:
>> Did you know that when you install a new MB windows XP Pro recognizes it as new hardware?

Generally, XP should recognizes your new hardware (disk, PCI, PnP) properly. As while as there is driver software (on XP CD-ROM or manufacturer disk).

>> ... you install more that three new hardware items, it will make you reinstall or repair Windows?

XP will not require your reinstall or repair. But it will require you to "Activate" windows, which you have 30 days. This is a plenty of time.

>> Whats the best way to configure two hard drives?

The best way is to have 4 IDE channels and all harddisk/CD-ROM configured as master. If you use one as master and slave on the same IDE, the performance is reduced if two disks need to work on the same time.

My computer, similar to you, has 4 IDE channels (2 for RAID). My configuration is:

IDE 1: HD
IDE 2: CD-ROM
IDE 3 (RAID): HD
IDE 4 (RAID): HD

I configured RAID controller as ordinary ATAPI.

This is my suggestion: Connect the second harddisk to RAID controller. You need to install driver in order to have XP see the disk. The driver will treat the RAID controller as a SCSI driver, and see your IDE drive as a SCSI drive.

Commented:
As long as both HD's are the same speed (ATA 100 or ATA66, ect) then they will work just fine, just remember they will only work at the speed of the slowest one if they are different speed.
You could put it as master on the secondary IDE if you have free connector on it.

Commented:
I should point out that the Windows XP product activation does NOT send the entire contents of your device manager to Microsoft--it will send a single number identifying your motherboard, so changing the motherboard is counted as a SINGLE piece of updated hardware, not 13. In addition, the "three hardware changes" rule only applies if one of the changed pieces of hardware IS the motherboard--if it isn't then you can change up to six items, if memory serves.

Commented:
As long as everything is still "legal" then reactivation only takes a few minutes and is no big deal.
But if you are bending the rules a little then ...............

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Commented:
Thanks so much, I have the other one on channel 3.

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