I'm building a PC to be used exclusively as a small fileserver for an office of 3 (perhaps ultimately 4) people who use standard Office 2003 apps Word, Excel and Outlook in their daily work. The office already has a 100mbps wired network, and I'm going to run just Windows XP Pro on the new machine, sharing folders with different permissions to give public and private storage on the fileserver for documents so they can be backed up centrally.
A lot of regular motherboards now are offering SATA RAID controllers, so it is affordable to create a mirrored RAID configuration with two identical drives for reliability. That's great ... but having already done that on my own PC, once the drives are set up using the RAID's BIOS, it all behaves like one drive.
If someone was to go wrong with one of the drives, how would I actually use the remaining drive to keep the machine and data alive? Say one hard drive starts squealling and fails, would the PC operate on the remaining disc until I get back to their office with a replacement? Would there be an option to add a new disc and 're-sync' the data onto it so the mirroring can continue?
(Not having bought a specific product for them yet, I'm happy to be guided by you [but would be naturally inclined towards Asus motherboards otherwise], but am really looking for general principles rather than specific instruction).