In a operational computer where is the most reliable hard-drive set up information found?
I am not sure exactly what you mean but I'll take a stab at it. Usually there is not much you can to to improve or alter the reliability of your hard drive. When you plug the drive into a system as long as everything is set to the right mode the drive shows up and it works. On prebuilt systems there isn't any options relating to your hard drive that you can change. There may be Windows tweaks that you could try but I'm not familiar with them and I wouldn't recommend it as the manufacturers set the drives up for proper operation initially.
Other things you may be interested in are raid arrays if you are looking for reliable hard drive setups. These don't prevent data loss in the sense that they can protect against viruses, etc, but can sometimes prevent data loss in the event of a mechanical drive failure. This is dependent on the raid level that you use, as well as the raid controller. There is no shortage of information on this subject if you do a search for raid array.
I would also add that making sure your drives are not mounted close together and properly mounted will help tremendously. Sandwiching multiple hard drives together creates too much trapped heat which can lead to drive failure. Make sure a fan is blowing over them if possible. Also making sure a drive is mounted properly in terms of screwing it inside a computer case is important because moving a drive while it is working can lead to a hard drive head scraping the platters and causing the drive to be ruined. While the computer is off, though, the heads are "parked' and can do no harm to my knowledge.
The final thing to be aware of is S.M.A.R.T data that is integrated into modern hard drives. This provides diagnostic information relating to the health and reliability of your drives. Your PC's bios must support this and having a program such as Hard Drive Inspector (Altrixsoft) can help too because it has access to the SMART data and can read information relating to temperatures, bad sectors, and other information used to predict a pending drive failure.