Hard drive failing or BIOS problem?

I have an older, secondary machine that I use in my office. The past couple days it has been crashing for no reason and giving me an error upon restart, telling me to insert the system disc. I looked in the BIOS and noticed that my main hard drive was not listed in the boot priority sequence. I turned the machine off, checked the physical connections, etc. restart and eventually got the machine to work. This has happened again and I noticed that my main hard drive was very hot to the touch, hot enough to not be able to hold it. I'm assuming this is not normal, but wanted to double check.

Do I have a dying hard drive or is my BIOS screwed up and the temperature of the hard drive is normal. Here are the vitals on the machine in case it matters:

MSI Neo4/SLI motherboard
Maxtor 7200 300 Gig hard drive

Appreciate any knowledge that can be shared. Thanks!
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More about hard drive failing bios problem
  1. Try doing a chkdsk, if you haven't modified anything the BIOS shouldn't be harmed. Sounds hardware related to me. What specifically did the error message say?
  2. Try a comprehensive SMART diagnostic. Look for reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors.

    HD Sentinel (DOS / Windows / Linux):
    http://www.hdsentinel.com/

    HDDScan for Windows:
    http://hddscan.com/

    See this article for SMART info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.
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