A few ?'s:
1. are you sure the 2nd CD is an install CD and not just an additional software CD? Do you get prompted for the 2nd? (btw, installing for a DVD source might eliminate the question)
2. are you sure you selected a window mgr (gnome or kde)?
3. you really get 'nothing' on the screen when you boot from HD? Tell me what you see.
Suggestion: your source CD probably has a liveCD option. This will confirm if all your hardware is being detected properly (video is most in question).