Computer Hard Drive is failing, I want to know if it is possible to save it

So I build my current rig about 2 summers ago.  Everything in it seems to be fine, except that when I start my computer, I have to go through an extra step of going into the BIOS every time I start it up due to some weird thing (I forget the name of it but it was something along the lines of American M...).

I've ignored it mostly up until recently, but the other day when starting up my computer, it never even got to the login screen when it had the blue screen of death.  This was when I knew I had to do something, and at first I was just thinking of getting a new hard drive, but I don't really have that kind of money right now.

Fast forward to today, and this morning when I tried to get on my computer, it was 10x worse, and, though I wasn't trying all day, even when I tried to get on after my day, it took 3 hours and a system restore to get it to a place that I was able to log on.

By fluke, a friend of mines boyfriend was having the exact same issue, and she said that she would be able to fix it by formatting the drive, so I thought that maybe I would do the same and save myself $100.

Issue is, while I was in the BIOS, I looked all around and was unable to find a way to format my drive.  On top of that, I'm afraid that if I do a full format that I will lose my OS completely, and because of how I got my OS, I don't have any disk to put it on, not to mention that the OS was only able to be installed for 15 days after purchase (I bought it from my school).

Also, I should bring up 2 more things.  My motherboard is ASUS and it starts up with an EZ Mode BIOS (though I did look through all of advanced section and didn't see anything).  Also, I'm getting an Intel Rapid Storage Technology warning on that hard drive which says: "Status: At risk (SMART event)", but it doesn't tell me anything about this SMART event or even what it is.

So again, my question, if there any way to reformat my computer (and keep the OS preferably) without a boot disk of some sort?

You can't format the disk from inside the bios, you need to use a windows install disk or a linux live cd or something like that. And yes, if you format the disk you will lose everything on it. If you're getting smart warnings then the disk is probably on it's way out and formatting won't really help. Fist thing you need to do is backup anything important.

If you get a new disk you can clone the old one on to it, but you may not be able to do that if the disk is having problems, it may become corrupt or just stop working before you can finish cloning it, so there's no guarantee that that will work, but it's the only way you're going to be able to keep your current windows installation.

Thanks for the quick reply.  I just have one question though, what is SMART anyways?

you need the key or keys for your os  before doing anything... (you should be able to Google for a tool to help you see it)

if your computer came with xp and you then you moved to an upgraded win7 licence you would need both keys


SMART is a monitoring system built in to the hard drive which detects and reports errors and other indicators drive reliability. When the values collected by smart reach certain thresholds you  get warnings that the drive is likely to fail.