|Depending on how old the laptop model is, you may have an IDE or SATA hard drive and optical drive. Entries in the bios Setup can be confusing - you may have IDE entries when you actually have SATA drives, and, also, the SATA drive controller(s) can be in IDE compatible mode, or similar. |
To confirm what you have....
Tell us the model of your brand name system. The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
When you install or remove a hard drive (or ram, or are going to be opening up the laptop's case) , you must remove the AC adapter's connection AND the main battery - otherwise it's possible the hard drive or the circuits connected to it can be damaged, because the ATX mboard always has power in some places otherwise.
Did your Uncle disconnect those?
If you fiddle with the drive, you must disconnect those.
If circuits and hard drive are not damaged, the most likely thing is the adapter that connects the drive's data/power header to the laptop does not have a good enough connection.Remove the cover where the hard drive is and make sure that's seated properly. Once you tell us what your model iswe can probably find a manual for the model that shows what you need to check, where the cover is, if you need that.
If the drives are SATA, the SATA drive controller(s) in the bios Setup can be set to IDE compatible (or similar) or SATA mode.
XP's Setup run from a regular CD has no built in support to recognize SATA controllers in SATA mode, and in that situation XP's Setup can't see SATA drives.
- the easy way to get around that is to set the bios to IDE compatible mode - XP's Setup then sees SATA drives fine. You can then install Windows and load the SATA controller drivers after Setup has finished (and the other drivers for your mboard components), then set the bios to run the SATA controller(s) in SATA mode.
"Dells reinstallation CD"
If your drivesare SATA, that CD MAY already have the SATA drive controller drivers and the other drivers for your system built into it, in which case XP's Setup will see SATA drives fine when the bios has the SATA controoler(s) in SATA mode, but if it doesn't have the SATA controller drivers built in, the SATA drives will not be seen by XP's Setup - in that case, set the bios so the SATA controller(s) is(are) in IDE compatible mode or similar.
Dell systems may have one or more additional Recovery CDs you must install the contents of after you install Windows, unless it has a single Recovery disk that is a DVD and not a CD (it can't all fit on one CD).