I'm installing XP Home on a new Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB IDE drive. The BIOS sees the drive correctly at the beginning of the install, with the correct size. XP loads from the CD correctly until the first reboot. Then upon reboot, "Primary Hard Drive Fails" message appears, the drive disappears from the BIOS listing. If I place the old HD in the master position on the IDE cable, and this new HD in the slave or middle position, on the IDE cable, windows will boot off the old drive, the 500 GB drive reappears in the BIOS. It shows up in Drive Manager as a Healthy NTFS drive. It shows the windows folder that setup created. I've changed IDE Cables, jumper settings, ports on the MB.
I've used FIXMBR AND FIXBOOT from the recovery console. I've rebuilt the BOOT.INI file from the recovery console. I've returned a drive to Western Digital and got the exact same symptoms with the new replacement drive. I've flashed the BIOS on the MB.
It will function as a slave drive just fine. Why won't XP install complete, and why will it not boot off the drive after going through the first part of setup?