I had all the problems you can have getting a hard drive to boot. I suggest the following
For a new drive
1. Get a Hard drive
2. Create a partition on it
3. Set the partition active
4. Format it.
5. Sys the drive (this allows the drive to boot a pc)
6. Copy the operating system CD to a directory on the drive.
7. Make sure the drive will boot (i did this using my PC)
8. Create a directory on it and add all the drivers you will need (video, audio, touchscreen, ethernet, make sure to unzip any that need to be unziped)
9. Get or make an I-opener cable (to make on you will need to split every 2 wires, twist 1/2 turn and then put back in connector. Easiest way is to take a piece of scotch tape and twist and stick to tape, do this for each pair. Then crimp the connector, this will make a I-Opener type IDE cable, takes patience but it works). After you are done making the cable use a VOM to verify that the connections are solid, and that you DID switch every other wire. If pin 1 is now pin 2 on the oposite connector it worked. Do this for all 44 pins. So 1 is 2, is 1, 3 is 4, 4 is 3...etc
10. Solder a IDE header to the MB. Make sure, couble, triple check each solder connection (all 44 of them) I had to re-solder 5 that looked like they soldered right. Nope, they didn't and I didn't catch it until I went over every thing 3 times. (got those funny red char). I suggest using a tiny bit of flux, and a little extra supper thin solder in addition to whats on the pad. I didn't but I suggest it.
11. Once you are confident that the drive will boot, The connector is wired correctly, and the pins are REALLY soldered to the MB you are all set.
12 wire it all up and fire up the GCTP. If the hard drive does not spin up, there is a serious problem with your wiring. If the drive spins up and you get funny char. Either one or more of the pins are not connecting on the MB, or you did not sys the drive correctly (this is hard to f- up). Or you messed up the cable. The GCTP will boot to a dos prompt if you did all this correctly.
13 Go to your os directory and run set up.
14 Screw up the install yourself (microsoft should help you do this just fine). This is where it helps to have the drivers already on the Hard drive before you do the set-up. This way you will not have a problem when it comes time to install them for the OS.
15. Good luck. Miss any of the above step, and it won't work. This should end this thread, unless you didn't go with WINDOZE.