I'd stopped in at Fry's on the way to BASFA, picked up a pair of SATA DVD drives marketed by the same company which made the motherboard, $25 each. Less than an IDE-->SATA adapter.
Home, installed the DVD drives, booted up and went into the BIOS to tag them as CD/DVD drives (rather than SATA HDDs) and then launched Win7's disk manager intending to RAID the two 2TB high-speed hard drives. Only to discover that, even though I had specified the 500GB drive as the only one to use for the OS, Win7 had created a partition on the first 2TB drive and set it as "System Reserved". It would not let me delete that partition, and without being able to do that I'd end up with a lopsided RAID, and lose 100MB of space on each drive.
So I powered down, disconnected the power to both the 2TB drives, booted the installation disk and re-installed Win7. This time the extra partition was on drive C: where God intended it to be. Powered down, plugged the 2TB drives back in, booted from C: went to disk manager and now it showed two system partitions - one on C: and one on the 2TB drive. It would not let me delete it.
I pounded on that till midnight, no joy, shut the PC off and decided to think about it and try again in the morning.
And sure enough, this morning the fix came to me:
1. Boot up with the installation DVD
2. Go into the Advanced mode and delete all the partitions
(it would not let me delete the reserved partition on drive C)
3. powered down, unplugged the 2TB drives
4. Booted the Win7 DVD, re-installed
5. Powered down, plugged the 2TB drives back in, booted from C:
And that fixed it. The system partition is on C: and the two 2TB drives are unmarked, ready to be made into mirrored RAID.
Finished that just in time to get to work on time. Lots of testing today, much of it with 5-minute gaps - enough to write a little bit.