|Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.|
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
The mboard's bios must be recognizing the SATA drive properly, when the bios has the SATA controller(s) in SATA a.k.a. AHCI mode (if it is not recognized in that mode, see the part of this post below the long dotted line).
When you boot the computer from a Windows XP (or 2000) CD, if the mboard's bios Setup has the SATA controller(s) in SATA a.k.a. AHCI mode, the initial files loaded from the CD , by default, cannot recognize SATA drives because there are no SATA controller drivers on the CD.
The easiest way of getting around that is to set the mboard's bios so the SATA controller(s) are in an IDE compatible mode of some sort, Save bios settings, then the initial files loaded from the CD will detect SATA drives, as IDE compatible drives. When the SATA controller drivers have been installed in the operating system, then you can set the setting in the bios for the SATA controllers to SATA a.k. a. AHCI mode, Save bios settings.
In order for a SATA drive to be recognized when you already have an existing Windows installation, in that operating system....
- if the mboard's bios Setup has the SATA controller(s) in SATA a.k.a. AHCI mode, the SATA controller drivers for the mboard must have been installed in Windows in order for the operating system to recognize the drive in Device Manager and in Disk Management. (If the drive you have an existing Windows installation on is IDE, those SATA controller drivers may not have been installed yet.)
Once the drive is being recognized properly, a blank drive will not show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer - you must software partition it (e.g. using the NTFS) and format it in Disk Management. Sometimes the Wizard to do that does not pop up. You should have no problem RIGHT clicking on the un-allocated space in Disk Management, and choosing to software partition and format it, if the drive is truly blank of data (the drive space is labelled un-allocated or similar) .
Your mboard's bios should detect your probably SATA II drive model fine, if the mboard hardware supports SATA II specs, whether the SATA controller mode in the bios is set to a SATA or an IDE compatible mode. .
If you have an older mboard, if the mboard hardware (main chipset) supports only the original SATA specs (burst data transfer speeds up to and including 150mbytes/sec) , all new and fairly recent used SATA drives are SATA II drives - drives that support SATA II specs - (burst data transfer speeds up to and including 300mbytes/sec). Some mboards that support only the original SATA specs will recognize a SATA II drive fine anyway, and use the the original SATA specs with it (burst data transfer speeds up to and including 150mbytes/sec), HOWEVER, some other mboards that support only the original SATA specs will NOT recognize a SATA II drive properly, and in that case, you need to install a jumper on two pins on the drive to force the mboard to see it as a drive that conforms to the original SATA specs ( that limit it to burst data transfer speeds up to and including 150mbytes/sec). Some desktop hard drive models have the pins for that (e.g. most Seagate drive models), some do not (e.g. at least some Samsung models).
All the Seagate SATA II desktop drive models I've bought so far have the pins for that and the jumper was already installed that limits it to the original SATA specs ( that limits it to burst data transfer speeds up to and including 150mbytes/sec).
If your hard drive model does NOT have the pins to force it to use the original SATA specs
- if the drive is new, if you got it locally, return the drive and get a different model that dies have the pins and the jumper
- best alternative choice - buy yourself a PCI SATA drive controller card and connect the SATA drive to that.
Don't use the last PCI slot, of the PCI slots, closest to the center of the mboard for anything but a PCI video card.
OR - buy a PCI-E X1 SATA controller card , if your mboard has a spare PCI-E X1 or PCI-E X4 slot, or a PCI-E X8 or PCI-E X16 slot that you're not using for a video card.
All new and fairly recent SATA controller cards have chipsets that support SATA II specs, any size of hard drive, and support ATAPI specs for optical (CD and DVD) drives.
You must supply SATA controller drivers for the card's SATA chipset on a floppy disk in a legacy floppy drive if you boot the computer from from an XP CD, or boot the computer using a "slipstreamed" XP CD that has had the SATA controller drivers you need integrated into it - if you make that, if your XP CD does not have SP3 updates, you are wise to integrate SP3 updates into the CD contents as well at the same time .
If you want to be able to boot an operating system from a drive connected to the card, you must be able to select SCSI in the Boot Order or similar list in the bios Setup, and SCSI must be listed before hard drive in the Boot Order or similar list.
- not as good an alternative choice - buy and use another type of adapter that allows the mboard to recognize the SATA drive connected to it as an IDE drive. No SATA controller drivers need to be installed, they support any size of hard drive, and support ATAPI specs for optical (CD and DVD) drives, BUT all such adapters I've seen the specs of so far either limit the drive to burst data transfer speeds up to and including 133 or 150mbytes/sec, or limit the drive to the USB max burst data transfer speed, which is much slower (it's rated in bits/sec, not bytes/sec - divide the rate in bits/second by 10 to get the approximate max rate in bytes/sec - 8 bits per byte, plus about 2 bits per byte for "overhead").