Please bear with me as I am clueless when it comes to hardware. I bought a second hand Alienware m17x laptop (probably R1 but not sure as it was customised) off ebay for a really good price about 5 years ago. It has been doing great until recently on boot up it has been showing an error on one of the hard drives (it l says I have two drives in a Raid 0 array which was news to me). Everything appeared fine until a couple of days ago when I shut down the laptop I got a bsod, the laptop restarted and showed a smart event on the hard drive that had the error then nothing but a black screen and the words "missing operating system". I restarted the laptop and this time it showed the error again then a bit more info (sorry can't remember what) with the words "operating system not found". I restarted again and this time it booted up. I haven't turned it off since, just put it in sleep mode. I have made a new backup and system image. The thing is, I have no optical drive (it went kaput a while back). I am working on making a bootable usb stick with system repair on it. My questions are: 1. I'm aware this is a death sentence for the hdd. How do I tell which one is affected when I come to replace it? 2. I'm looking at buying an ssd. The one I'm looking at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-BX2...I2B0G5K46OVA02&psc=1&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl comes with software, will I be able to get away with not using the software since I have no optical drive? I was hoping the system image I have backed up along with system repair on a usb will be enough (I've never used a system image before though, or replaced a hard drive so please tell me if anything sounds dumb). 3. When I am ready to replace the bad hdd, do I have to format the good one first or do anything else to it? I don't want it in a Raid array with the new ssd because I'm guessing it will fail sooner rather than later too. 4. Lasty, will the ssd I'm looking at be able to be used in future laptops or a desktop? Thanks so much! Editing to say sorry, should have said I'm using Windows 7 ultimate.