Have you, or can you put the disc into another machine and see if you can browse the disc?
Can you or have you swapped out the DVD player you are trying to use with another just to see if it's the DVD player?
OK, I'm drawing a blank. I suppose there could be some problem with the actual boot files on the DVD that actually make it bootable. I was wondering, when you hit the key to boot from CD, do you hear any activity going on, or do you see that activity light on the DVD player as though it's attempting to boot the DVD, how long does the screen stay blank (or black) and does it always result in the same results, like the bootmgr missing message, that you mentioned in your original post or does it just stay black
the light on the dvd player does turn on and it does sound like their is activty going on in the drive...at first i got the black screen and it would just freeze there then i tried installing the dvd using another machine onto the blank hdd....after i tried that durring the installation on the ather machine an error came up saying that the installation was not complete because the hardware was not supported or something like that...so then i tried running the dvd on the new mchine and that is where i got the "bootmgr missing" message
Is it possible, that you have multiple display adapters involved in this setup. The reason I asked the initial question about whether you could confirm any activity in the way of DVD lights, is that sometimes it has been my experience that you see the bios screen on one video adapter and then when the install initiates for some reason it choose the second adapter. Is this possibly the case, like an integrated adapter and then a PCIe addon card?
Certainly might be worth a try. XP, and then do a custom clean install and see what happens. Even Vista, but be sure and do a custom clean install on that as well, not an upgrade. In either case keep us posted as to your progress. You may also want to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if there is any problems up front with your computer's hardware configuration, here's the link Download details: Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor