I have Windows 7 Professional on my computer, but haven't used it (Windows) in a long time because of problems that are outside my time and expertise to solve. (That's another subject too involved to go into here.) Since the hardware is evidently fine, I've been using various Linux distros instead, and they serve most of my computer needs. But I want Windows back as well.
I'd rather not have to move all my data to reinstall Windows, and I'm also thinking a second drive would be nice. So I have several questions...
Can I buy and install a new hard drive and use my Windows 7 installation/repair disk to install Windows on that new drive while the borked Windows is still in place on the older drive? Is that do-able, and would having a second installation of Windows on the same computer (despite the fact that the current one doesn't work) cause me any activation issues with Microsoft?
Now assuming that's feasible, what if the original drive is a RAID array consisting of two drives? Does that change anything? My dysfunctional Windows is on a pair of drives in a RAID striping configuration (meaning the drives have to work together for anything to work). Is there anything in this procedure which could break RAID so my data is no longer accessible? I mean could taking boot status away from the RAID drive and handing it to a brand new (single) drive somehow revert the old drive(s) to non-RAID configuration? (I don't know what software/firmware/hardware makes RAID work in the first place.)