Is it normal for a computer to take so many hours to recover after installing 2 new drives?

My original hard drive went bad. I installed 2 large drives (WD Caviar Black, 2 TB, each), and used the recovery DVDs, that I originally purchased from HP, to reinstall Windows Vista Ultimate. The first stage, where all the Recovery DVDs were used, was completed within an hour or so (there was message indicating that the disk was formatted and Windows Vista was installed, and that the remaining tasks was security updates and other tasks that I had to do later, as expected). Then the system rebooted and now it displays the following message:

 * DO NOT turn off your PC during this one-time setup process

* Your PC restarts several times during this setup process

* Messages may pop up onto your screen. Ignore these messages until you are prompted to Restart or Shutdown your PC

At the bottom of the screen it says “Please wait…”  And underneath it there are three moving squares that keep moving to the right (indicating something is working) This has been going on for at least 24 or 26 hours. There are no reboots, no messages, or anything else is happening. Also there is no light indicating that the hard drive is working.

Is this normal? How long should I expect this to be going on? Is there any way to know if there is really something happening?! I am assuming that the second drive is being formatted, but I have no way of knowing since there was no information displayed saying anything about that.

Thank you in advance for any hints.

EHS