Chack your IDE cable, the Webplayer requires a normal straight through cable unlike the i-Opener's and GCT which every pair is reversed, be sure that you have pin one going to pin one on the header (towards the CP as I recall).
I have used several differnet IBM travelstars in my webplayer that I had awhile back, never had problem with non of them.
The bios will see the drive regardless if it's partitioned or formated, that makes no difference. If it's not formated for partitioned correctly then you will get boot errore like "system not found"
Does the drive spin up ???