It powers up, all the fans run, the screen turns on and then I can access the bios if I so choose. In the bios under the performance tab I can look at the specifications of the CPU I installed which say 2.8 ghz etc etc and some other stuff specific to the CPU. It is also recognizing the RAM. I tried using a different hard drive to no avail and when I put in a boot disc it started to work but then went to a blue screen of death which said to disable shadowing/caching in the bios. I couldn't find the option it spoke of directly so I just disabled anything with the word cache in it and nothing changed. The boot disc I am using is a retail Windows XP disc so I have no reason to think it should not work correctly (that I know of) since I have used it to install windows XP before. I have tried doing a repair install as well as a clean install from it with no success in this case.
If I don't try to boot from a disc the system goes through a cycle of the same two screens where one screen is the place where I can manage the bios and it lists the memory storage devices and then tries to boot up, and the next screen is one that lists the hardware in the computer with a statistic for each, e.g. the cpu and its temperature and some other things.
SO... if the CPU is dead should I be able to access the bios? I have no reason to suspect the cpu or mobo as they are new, and the power supply worked with another machine as did the ram. Sadly I don't have another board that will fit the processor or another processor that will fit the board, but since I have dealt with dead boards before I suspect the CPU or some kind of corruption in the bios that is causing the problem. I have also tried resetting the bios with the jumper while the computer is off and unplugged and all of that. I also tried a different disc drive with the setup. The motherboard doesn't have a speaker on it so I can't report beeps
At this point I can not get past the blue screen which says some kind of error about drivers or something and disabling shadowing/caching, after which I would expect OS install to start.
If this doesn't light any bulbs over your heads I'll try to give more details tomorrow after further experimentation.
Yes. The CPU is good. Like helloworld said, if it were dead, you would not be able to reach the BIOS.
I suspect that the POST is running successfully if you can start the boot process. But this is one of those times that you need a system speaker to be certain.
The error that you are reporting:
"At this point I can not get past the blue screen which says some kind of error about drivers or something and disabling shadowing/caching, after which I would expect OS install to start. " is trying to tell you what is happening. What is the exact error message?
OK everyone I managed to get the computer running after using a windows 7 64 bit boot disc instead of the 32 bit windows xp boot disc. No idea why it worked with windows 7 and not windows XP but I don't really care either because now it works. The windows XP disc definitely works, so I guess for some reason the setup I had just chose to take issue with windows XP, or that's all I can guess anyway. Thanks for the information though, at least I gained some experience from the whole ordeal.
Since you didn't list your full system specs it's kinda hard to help you but....
If you're trying to install SP1 (or worse pre SP1) on a new machine you could have issues due to the SATA controller and PCI-E controller. You can disable the SATA Raid in the BIOS if it has it and set it to run in IDE mode. That may allow you to install XP. You can also split stream a copy of your disk with SP3. Google it if you want to learn how to do it.
1) Manually set everything up in the bios - "auto" settings are 100% BS
2) Newer rigs have AHCI, requiring drivers to install on legacy/older OS's like xp whereas vista will mostly accept it aok, otherwise you may set the ports to a legacy mode etc so xp can see the hdd
3) Why are you instantly blaming the CPU?