I'm trying placed an image in illustrator but only the transformation box appears. I can see the the image is in my layers panel but its not appearing on my artboard.
Your template layer might be set to dim images to 0%?
What happens if you place it on a regular layer insted of a template layer?
I've tried to drag and drop the image, uninstall and reinstall along with copy and pasting all resulting in the same way
Is it maybe a white image with a transparent background?
Your screenshot is not making sense as you have a locked or hidden layer, with something selected which would normally give you a message like this.
In any case try the file format of .PSD with maximize compatibility turned on, and make sure there are not paths set to clipping.