This is going to get interesting. Software Raid on a laptop.
How about partitioning a drive into 3 equal partitions and doing a Raid-5 array? Is it still a RAID 5? Not really. The purpose of RAID 5 is to span your data bits(2x8) and your parity bits(1x8) across multiple drives to achieve redundancy. In the event one drive fails, the parity bit is used to rebuild all information. In the event one drive fails in the one drive in a raid 5 array situation, all is lost and performance was crap.
JimM, in your situation, you will lose performance overall semi based on the above example, please don’t do it. Symantec Ghost is a great way to backup data. We use Corporate edition here to manager our networks in conjunction with Sysprep 1.1 to clear the pnpid's, generate a new sid, and to auto attach to our domain with all the latest greatest stuff(In other words, it is robust!). You MIGHT score well on a benchmark, but you will not like the results. In your situation, you would have (1-60gig)20/40+(2-40gig)40. The objective in a RAID-0 Array is to achieve maximum throughput by splitting your bottlenecked "Sustained Data Transfer Rates" among 2 drives effectively "Doubling” your drive bandwidth. Man, in the real world, software raid doesn’t work out that way. Especially if your PRIMARY drive is a split partition in Software emulated raid array. You now have the C drive trying to access the D drive (your new software array) and your primary drive is now splitting time to perform the functions you request, while the second drive is running around 33%. Not ideal in any situation EXCEPT a benchmark. The benchmark would load in memory, and only test the RAID-0 in a simulated (synthetic) test. The reality of it is when you are transferring files, or working, or playing, your overhead from the OS partition is going to chop the second partition used in the raid, while the second drive is rearing full speed but waiting for the battle between drive 1. Not good.
We also use Low Voltage Differential U160 SCSI drives in a RAID-1 and a RAID-5 Array for the integrity of our data. Our primary server uses a 5 Drive Raid Array consisting of 2 drives in a Raid 1 and 3 drives in a Raid 5. The Raid one is split into 2 partitions c and d. C is for the OS, and D is for the exchange server transaction files, and FTP server, so it will not affect anything in the event anything goes poop in the night. The Raid-5 stores all of our data.
The irony of RAID-0 on a single drive is it is just that..... To configure 1 device on a raid controller (that will let you do it) it must be configured as a RAID-0. So let’s say we ALL have RAID!
Unfortunately, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. NOT Inexpensive disks like so many have read in textbooks, including me in "kolledge".
Adam and I have discussed the benefits of some people being able to use the 8887 with 3 hard drives. Including a hardware raid controller for 2 drives in a raid-0 array or Raid-1 array, but it has amounted to nothing more yet due to high consummation of power, heat, and lack of demand (enough to make it happen).
If anyone has any questions about the RAID, please feel free to shoot away. Write back cache? Whats that?