"I'm not sure Linux will autimatticaly detect RAID and SATA....there are often things you have to configure youself after installations."
all you have to do is enable these things in the kernel that the livecd boots you up onto. same as on windows xp setup except you dont need the drivers on hand.
And look guys - theres no EASY way to do this. You cant just downlaod linux and expect it to install as easily as windows does. Its somehting you need to read up on and investigate. Yeah there is a lot of trial and error involved, and you will probably loose everything on your disk once or twice. Thats why you should back everything up so it doesnt matter if you loose it, read up on any articles you can find and then go nuts.
I cant give you a step by step installation guide in this forum as it is just such a long process, and i dont claim to be an expert in the field. Like i said - research it on google and read as much as you can until you find a really good howto. (generally just search howto *what you want to know*)