I'd suspect that your hard drive was OK, but nothing is "certain" about this (otherwise it'd be working and you wouldn't be here
I presume that the downloads for MSDN are similar to those at TechNet - and I've never had a coaster from them (I do use the Microsoft download manager). Since it appears that you've tried 2 separate downloads (w/SP2 and w/o an SP), I'd think that it was an incompatibility with some of your hardware - but it's just a guess on my part.
There's a difference between the other copy that you used and the MSDN copies - just what that difference is is (IMO) unknown, and it'll be darned difficult to compare all the files to see what that difference is. But that's what causes me to suspect a hardware compatibility issue.
To be thorough, I'd first test the system with Memtest86 and with a utility from your hard drive manufacturer, then I'd disconnect all devices except for 1 hard drive and one CD/DVD drive (disable any other onboard devices through the BIOS). (you'd have: Case, PSU, mobo, CPU and cooler, RAM, vidcard, keyboard, monitor, 1 hard drive, 1 CD/DVD drive only) and see if that works.
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