Maybe not the exact right spot for this post, if its not, im sorry :D

So after going through a few issues with my mobo's and having to get a new one, finally gettting BIOS running (then having a bad stick of RAM, fun), my computer freezes up when I choose to run windows (safe mode, normal mode, everything, just freezes every time) I've tried using a Dell recovery CD to no avail, it just freezes up when it starts to check my hardware config. I checked both of my HDs (I use one to run XP and the other as just storage) I was able to piggyback and read both of my HDs on another computer, but when trying to get my primary to boot up I got nothing but blank screen and freezing up as well (also when I just tried to run the primary HD). Now im sure the answer may be just to find a normal XP disk and reinstall or install on my 2nd HD, but any reason why the recovery disk hangs up when it checks hardware config? Thanks for any help, ive been reading the forums for awhile : )

So you got the Hard Drives to work in another computer? It may be as you stated, a bad recovery, but seldom is that the case. Your RAM may be freezing threads when you try to boot an OS, so make sure your RAM is certified for your board. That doesn't happen very often either, let me see.
You could check the cables you use (try them in the other computer) for your hard drive to mobo connection. If your HD doesn't boot from either computer, make sure there are no bent pins for your connection. If all else fails, try a fresh install of XP, if that fails, I fear your HD is bad.
Hope this helped, and good luck with getting your HD back >.<

I hope my 2nd stick of RAM isnt bad lol, that would suck a bit. The IDE cables are fine, I even had a few brand new ones I put in last night just to be sure the old ones weren't the problem. I was able to get into each HD by piggybacking it on the known good one, so I can recover any data I have on them, just nothing will boot *from* the HD itself. So the freezing during recovery/loading into windows (from BIOS, never get past the black screen) means at the very least the mobo is good? (its my main concern, trying to track down an XP install disk now instead of a recovery disk that came with my old Dell). Thanks for the help and info :D

So im guessing its a bad motherboard, odd I got one bad out of the box >_< and its a socket 754 which is a bit harder to find and where I live sucks for computer parts. I took a known good HD and plugged it in, it boots up, runs the POST and just freezes. Any ideas? I don't really think the RAM is bad, its always worked up until now, my old mobo is fried tho it seems.

If the HD will not boot to the OS through either system, I highly doubt it is the mobo. I almost guarantee it's a HD problem.

Sometimes a new motherboard means a new install of your O/S, as your stuff is in different places and windoze can't find it.

There's ways and means of getting around this of course. Unfortunately the 2 options I'm aware of are stipping out all the driver info before removing the old mobo using sysprep (see here). The other method is using the repair feature of an XP disk.

It appears neither of these options are available to you, but if you can get hold of a mate's XP disk, the repair option is something to try (here's some instructions on doing a repair).

I'm guessing your recovery disk is trying to find devices that are now plugged into different places, and that's why it also doesn't work. Only a guess though.

Let us know how you get on.

Will do, have a good copy of a normal XP install disk now, I'll let ya know. Only reason I was saying maybe bad mobo is because it did try to load the OS (got my loading screens, etc) when I first booted the mobo, and the known good HD didn't work in my system. We shall see shortly :D

Ok, so I tried a known good normal XP install disk (not a recovery from dell stuff lol) on both HDs, each time it goes into "setup is inspecting your hardware configuration" and then freezes on "loading executive files" (may not be direct quote from the screen, its the first blue screen). I found a nice ASUS mobo pretty cheap on newegg, gonna try that and see if anything changes. Was trying to do some research on this mobo I bought locally but theres not even a brand or manufacturer name anywhere on the mobo or box lol, BIOS states its from American Megatrends, but ive never heard of them, gonna try to RMA the board back perhaps if it is bad, which if it is, then it was DOA.

It's fixed, was a bad mobo out of the box. Thankfully I found a nice ASUS one for now :D