If the drive isn't spinning, then it's probably not getting power to the drive. Because the cable connectors between HDD and motherboard can fail, have you tried replacing the connection cable?
And because that computer is probably 4 or 5 years old, yes, it could be a motherboard issue. Have you checked for bulging or leaking capacitors on the board?
Plus, which operating system are you attempting to install and how? Are you using the recovery discs from Dell or possibly a system image you created? Or are you using something else? Ideally, try loading the original factory OS and files on the disk.
Hope this helps.
I've tried taking the jumper out. The problem is the he'd isn't spinning. I'm trying to install a operating system onto a Dell optiplex 980. I've tried 3 hard drives none work it goes through loading windows system files then restarts and repeats. Is this a motherboard issue?