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RAID 5 questions (software)

I have been experiementing with the RAID stuff in Debian 3.1r0a

In this experiment I configured as follows:
1st Hard Drive
/boot 400mb
swap 2GB
partition for Raid volume 37 GB

2nd - 4th HD
partition for Raid volume 37 GB.

A few questions have came up:
When I replace a hard drive (simulated crash) in RAID 5 do I have to do
any configuration to make it work?  When I tested this it appeared to just
take off, however I could not even find a log entry that it had actually
done anything.

If the first hard drive crashes how do you recover?  I pulled it out, put
in a brand new drive, inserted my boot floppy, and of course had no kernel
to boot.  Is there a way to set it up so that I could have a back up boot
sector on the other hard drives?  On a regular hardware raid system I
would have set up raid 1 for my boot disks and raid 5 for my data disks. 
Since I am limited to just 4 hard drives I obviously can't do that here. 
Even if I were to leave the first drive out of the raid mix, the question
still stands, how do I recover if that hard drive fails?

This communication represents the official view of the voices in my head
and should not be confused with whatever voices you are hearing.

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