Well, I've not solved the problem, but I have more information. I am getting a blue screen of death every time I try to run a windows installation repair. It occurs at any seemingly random time during the process of copying the files from the cd to the hard drives. The messages are widely varied, including IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, as well as 0x0000008e which is a memory access error, and 0x00000024 which is an NTFS file system error. I have tested both the CPU and RAM in another system and they booted windows and ran PCMARK04 flawlessly.
If I let the machine try to boot I still get the same disk read error.
I've replaced the cd-rom, all the cables in the case, and the promise card, as well as the psu and mobo which I replaced initially after the hit. none of this has had any effect.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions... i am about to pull my hair out.