- If I use a hardware ATA RAID card, are there certain system settings required for FreeBSD to recognize this, or is the RAID format done at a platform-independent level (BIOS or other boot utilities)?
It depends. Some have a OS-level driver or utility (perhaps one that runs under Linux emulation), others work via the BIOS.
- If one of the 2 hard drives fail, the data will still be visible and accessible on the remaining drive correct?
No. RAID-0 provides no redundancy; use RAID-1 mirroring instead.
How easy is it to replace the
failed drive? Will the data from the good drive automatically copy over to
the newly replaced drive or are there a lot of shenanigans involved?
This also depends. Generally, you have to kick of a mirror rebuild via the BIOS, but some hardware is smarter about this than other hardware.
- Is it possible to stripe only 1 drive as RAID 0 with the intention of dropping in another drive later?
Yes, but doing so isn't useful: the end result is a concatenation rather than a true RAID-0 stripe, and you don't gain any performance advantages.
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