one thing tho, when i do get it to boot up it finds a new video card (the one the computer came with) and reinstalls the driver for it, so i am led to beleive the hardware is still in there
Actually, the bios looks for whichever video card is present... either on-board, or PCI. It found the on-board, so windows loaded the driver.
What we needed your bios to do was "disable" your on-board video card. Did you see an option to "disable" it. Maybe there are two entries in the bios pertaining to video choices.
Try checking your bios again just to make sure. If you can "disable" the onboard, perhaps it will then detect the AGP slot card even if the only other option in the bios is PCI.