So I'm an absolute newcomer to RAID and I think I may have ended up down the wrong path in pursuing it in the first place. I've been looking into RAID 5 for my home desktop and I've come up against a multitude of conflicting information. On the one hand RAID 5 sounds awesome as I can stick my three 1tb HDDs together into one big 2tb HDD with added performance increase and fully recoverable data should one HDD fail but on the other hand I hear that actually RAID 5 makes a detriment to performance, that chances are it'll make 2 HDDs fail at once somehow and backing up using more manual methods would be better for me or I've even heard that RAID isn't a backup solution, that I don't really understand as as far as I understand it RAID 5 should be a simple case of replacing single failed HDDs to have everything working fine again, right? Is RAID the solution for me in the first place? Not that I really get as far as considering replacing failed HDDs as I don't even really know where to start with setting up RAID. Essentially I'm a bit lost as to what to do so I'll just give you the vision: The idea is that I would like a hard-drive failure to be a non-issue. That I can multi-boot in either Ubuntu or Windows (from a HDD that wouldn't be part of any array) and have a vast amount of storage space available (I'm not too fussed about performance, as long as I'm not waiting a day to copy 100k or sumpthin' rediculous) and should a HDD fail it's a simple case of buying a new one, plugging it in and having everything just as it was before. Any ideas? Also two impending factors for me is firstly: money, I'm a student so I don't have much of it, I've seen various references to dedicated RAID controller hardware but they always seem to go for £200+ and that's just not feasible by my budget. Would it be a crazy choice for me to control RAID through software (bearing in mind that I multi-boot) or through my motherboard's inbuilt RAID controller? And secondly: availability of hardware, due to a number of factors, lack of space in my desktop tower, again lack of money to buy more and suchlike I'm not really into the idea of buying more hardware for the sake of nothing other than keeping the current hardware in check. Meaning I don't much like the idea of buying two HDDs at a time so one can be dedicated to backing up the other, this is why RAID 5 appeals to me as for every 2 usable HDDs you only have 1 HDD dedicated to keeping everything safe and recoverable. Any input on this would be really appreciated, thanks.