So I really have no idea what happened. Here's a few tidbits of information:
Last night, I realized that after running CPU-Z my frequency was listed at 2800MHz...with 1 core and 1 thread... note that I run a Pentium D 840 3.2GHz. I looked in the task manager and only 1 CPU was shown...even after I clicked to show 1 graph per CPU, only 1 CPU was shown. In the device manager, only 1 processor was shown and the computer was listed as an "ACPI Uniprocessor" as opposed to a "Multiprocessor." So I figured I would update my BIOS. I did so, and after I did so I started up XP...everything was fine. CPU-Z showed it running at 3200MHz with 2 threads and 2 cores. Task Manager showed 2 graphs, and Device Manager showed 2 processors and a Multiprocessor computer.
Everything seems peachy, right?
My temperature increased a couple degrees, but I expected that. I restarted it a few times, ran it for about 2-3 more hours without a problem. Turned it off for the night, and when I turned it back on this morning, the splash screen for my motherboard appeared, but afterwards the screen goes blank with the little underscore flashing in the top left. I waited several minutes, nothing. Hard restarted, after a few attempts I was brought to the Safe Mode option screen. Tried running last known good configuration--Windows wouldn't load up. Tried Safe Mode, got a huge list of files run down my screen and then freeze for a moment, then restart on its own. Was able at one point to get the Windows loading screen to appear, but as soon as it disappeared I was hopeful my problem was fixed...alas, it wasn't, and the screen went black then the system restarted once more. My intuition leads me to believe that there is a problem with Windows, perhaps?
This is my system:
ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe
Pentium D 840 3.2GHz
2048MB Corsair DDR2 Memory
2 x eVGA 8600GTS 512
Windows XP SP2
My personal experience with flashing the BIOS is that on the restart you need to use the default settings in the BIOS and restart again, then you can reconfigure the system the way you want, everytime I did a flash and didn't do that, well you are seeing what I always saw