|"I've been trying to remove my HDD cables while windows is running"|
Are you deliberately trying to fry something? NEVER plug or unplug anything while the system is running (except for USB devices).
"As for clearing CMOS it seems like a risky process"
Not at all. Just unplug the power cord, remove the side panel from the case, move the clear CMOS jumper cap from it's normal position to the clear position, wait a few seconds, then move it back again. Replace the side panel, plug in the power cord, then boot up. You'll probably be prompted immediately to enter the BIOS to correct the settings.
Here's an example: http://www.justanswer.com/uploads/s...