Originally Posted by paulsm4
Whether or not you have Ubuntu installed has NOTHING to do with whether or not you can boot from DVD.
Probably true - but won't appear that way to the casual user.
From my testing, the Windoze installer will boot, but presents a black screen until it finds a disk to install on. If that fails, the installer quietly dies - no messages, no nothing. As I said above, if there are no "Windoze" partitions, or insufficient free space, this counts as a "failure".
It is very likely there is nothing wrong with the DVD - I've had this happen, and the DVD/CD will boot fine on other machines.
Wiping the MBR will not turn it into a brick - both the Windoze and Linux installers handle this fine. Possible exception Slackware because Pat tends to ship badly out of date fdisk and cfdisk.
The only reason I can come up with that that "dd" failed to do the job is that there may be BIOS protection on the MBR (virus protection), or the OP mis-typed.