|You DO NOT need to format the blank hard drive first before you install XP on the drive when you boot the computer from the XP CD - Setup will detect that it has no software partitions and is not formatted, and will prompt you to make a partition and format it. |
Your problem is that when you boot from the XP CD, Setup cannot presently see the SATA drive at all, because of bios Setup settings !
See jam's info in Response 3 !
"1. check the BIOS to see if if there's a setting for "IDE compatibility mode" "
In the bios Setup, IDE compatibility mode is a.k.a. ATA, PATA, IDE, EIDE, compatibilty mode, or similar
We don't know exactly what to tell you it is, because there is usually no information anywhere on the web, or in the User's or Owner's manual for the brand name system model, about what is seen in the bios Setup settings for a brand name bios version.
If you see a setting in the bios Setup where it's set to SATA or AHCI mode, that's what you need to change to some IDE compatibilty mode, save bios settings. .
If you can select and set some IDE compatibilty mode, XP's Setup will detect the SATA drive controller and the SATA drive, as IDE compatible devices .
After Setup has finished, after the SATA controller drivers have been loaded in XP for the laptop's mboard, you can go into the bios Setup and change the setting back to SATA or AHCI.
Or - you can just leave the bios set to an IDE compatibilty mode, in which case the XP CD will find the SATA hard drive whenever you boot from the XP CD.
XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
Load the main chipset drivers first.
If you can't access the internet near the end of Setup, you won't be able Activate Windows or download anything from the web. In that case you need to get at least the network adapter drivers you need on another computer, copy them to something such as a flash drive, and load them on your computer, in Windows - DO NOT load drivers while booting the computer, before the software for the device has been installed !
A side note........
Setup defaults to making only one partition on a hard drive.
The problem with that is if you ever need to re-load Windows from scratch, you lose everything on the partition Windows was installed on, and when you have only partition on the hard drive, that's everything on the drive - unless you copy the data you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you install Windows from scratch (most people don't bother, and lose all their data) .
If you're installing XP from a regular CD, it's recommended you make at least TWO partitions on the drive.
How to make more than one partition on a hard drive, when you're installing Windows on a blank hard drive, or when you are deleting the existing partition(s) on a hard drive before you run Setup .....
See Response 3: