|"I have not made extensive changes to the BIOS and have not reset it using the default option"|
From your original post - "I reset the BIOS and got the same result". We can only go by what you tell us. If you give bad info, you will get bad advice.
"The only problem is that the XP install flash drive cannot find any hard drive partitions so the install fails"
As I stated in response #3, XP doesn't natively support SATA drives, so to get XP to recognize the HDD, you'll either have to change the BIOS setting to IDE mode, or leave the setting at AHCI & slipstream the SATA drivers into your USB/XP disc.
"I do have an external USB CD/DVD drive but that won't work until I have an OS installed"
Change the boot order in the BIOS.
EDIT: why are you bothering with XP anyway? Win7 should install easily & without any hassles if your system meets the hardware requirements. One other thing - is this the original HDD? Are you sure it doesn't have a recovery partition? Hold the F10 key at startup to activate the Recovery.
message edited by riider