"Seems I found what might be the problem.. if I hit esc and watch the text of what it's doing.. it looks like it's hanging right after it detects my CD drive. It says hdd: lite-on etc etc.. then it hangs for like a minute and says hde: no response, then hangs again and says hdg: no response. Is there some way to change it so it doesnt search for these nonexsistant drives?"
What you describe is normal behavior if you have a secondary IDE controller card installed in your system and no devices attached to them. In that case your motherboard BIOS will pass control to the secondary BIOS on the IDE controller card. Your secondary BIOS will query ide2 and eventually time out when the query is never answered. Similarly for ide3.
If you really do have a secondary IDE controller card installed with no devices attached then the solution to your problem is to remove the secondary IDE controller card.
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.