Vista DVD Install Fail

I recently got my computer back into a workable state after almost a month of work and fail. Originally I was dual booting Vista & Ubuntu, then after a platter went bad across both partitions i basically had to go back to scratch (you can find out more deets here). Anyway, I have Ubuntu 9.10 installed and it is running fine, once it boots.

my rig is a homebrew with an i7 920, intel dx58so mobo, 2x2g DDR3 ram, 850W Thermaltake, ATI 4870

I am facing two primary problems. A) my BIOS post time has gone from 3 to about 15-20 seconds, and OS boot from GRUB menu went from about 8 to 30 seconds. B) i am running into an error trying to install vista from my OEM DVD (Home Premium 64-bit); it gets to the green (kernel) loading bar part of the menu, then hangs indefinitely (for at least 25 minutes). i thought this may have to do with bios and an ide/ahci driver loading issue but in ide mode it still isnt responding. (this disk is clean, and i have used it three times previously to reinstall.)

A) i am considering updating my BIOS (which has been updated quite a few times over the past 15 months) to see if that will resolve/reset the problem. however, i am doubtful that it will and fearful that it will only cause more problems. however, could it be a physical problem with the board? i did a complete teardown and rebuild and nothing seemed to be out of order but i wouldnt have known what to check other than big problems.

B) i would hope that updating the BIOS might purge whatever difficulty the Vista DVD is having with my system and loading it. does anyone know what else may contribute to the green bar not loading? there seems to be no explanation for why it hangs there at the green loading bar in this situation. or at least i havent been able to find a similar situation. among the fixes, was the purchase of a brand new HDD (WD 1T Caviar Black) and it wouldnt install in a basic config with just the HDD and a stick of ram.

i7920 // 2x2gig DDR3 1333 // DX58SO // Thermaltake850 // ATI4870 // U.KK9.10 & [dead]64-bit Vista[/dead]
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  1. Xth Day Update: After a Successful flash procedure, and then an unsuccessful reboot, I flipped BIOS Jumper to config, got into BIOS and it appeared to be a false warning and the BIOS booted in config correctly, i made a few adjustments to fit my machine. Flipped the jumper back to normal, restarted, presto GRUB2 is back.

    In summary i flashed to the latest BIOS revision (5112) of the intel DX58SO mobo and the boot to Post seems to have lessened somewhat, but the OS boot time is still pretty awful. Minor concerns, but it seems to be pointing at something that i think is causing my main problem:

    What is/could be happening that when i insert the Vista DVD it hangs at the green bar loading screen and it wont let me install the OS? Am i having a driver conflict with Recognizing the HDDs, a permissions problem since I am running GRUB2 and it wont let me own the hard drive, a problem with the SATA drivers and my DVD Drive?

    How do i troubleshoot this to even find the conflict?

    Please Help.
  2. update. effectively solved, but not really, and definitely not tidily:

    a) used seatools to perform a full erase of the seagate drive (took about 3 hours).
    b*) unplugged seagate, tried to run memtest from WD only boot and got an error "too small lower memory ([x] > [y])"
    c) unplugged the WD drive
    d) booted vista installer dvd, works; running updates on windows.

    I am not sure why the full erase worked, aside from that it would have erased the mbr/grub record. so i think this was a grub issue all along. i have no explanation for why this fixed it, but now i am facing a new problem.

    because of the heavy-handedness of this solution, my drives currently exist only independent of each other. however, i want access to both drives and the ability to dual boot. my fears: in all likelihood, if the drives were to boot together a) there would be a conflict, or b) one mbr/boot loader would try to overwrite the other. so i will choose the windows boot loader for the sake simplicity. any suggestions on how to reconcile this problem from where it stands now?

    essentially, i need to rewrite the mbr on the WD drive to match up with the Seagate mbr. i am afraid of just booting two boot-loaders without knowing which will take precedence (and risk grub winning and my grub menu becoming 3pgs long). if anybody knows of a good bootable tool i would appreciate it.
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