My mom's PC was getting an error message at boot time about the S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring detecting problems which could result in the disk becoming unusable at any time. (I paraphrase.) This appeared consistently at reboot, though the times I used the machine, nothing bad happened.
She was also several months behind in her Windows Update downloads. After I made her current, I saw no more of those messages. (I think. I wasn't diligent in checking for them.)
(1) Was there really a risk of losing the hard drive, or was it/Windows just being extra cautious?
(2) Could a Windows Update download address the underlying problem on the disk, and make the problem go away (by reassigning blocks to other physical locations, or not reporting a nonexistent problem, or whatever)?
(3) Was there a fix in a recent Window Update download (March-June, 2006) which addressed the problem which caused the (presumably accurate) S.M.A.R.T. disk error message?