Problems entering windows setup with clean hdd...

my brother just built a new system out of my old comp parts, including abit mobo with lga775 p4 @ 2.8ghz. he used an old hdd of his (ata 100 5400rpm....old) that has been formated, and when he selects boot from cd as primay boot device, he gets an error message right after cmos startup that says something along the lines of "cannot startup OS" (cant remember what he said) but it wont even let him boot from the cd.

the twist is that when he plugs in his new hdd (sata 3.0) with all of his comp data on there, he can get the new comp to boot using the windows cd. why does it matter? shouldnt you be able to boot the windows install cd even without a hdd in the computer?

the whole setup is proven to work (my old stuff, worked like a charm) so its not any basic component, like ram, cpu, etc. obviously, or it wouldnt start up. any suggestions?
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More about problems entering windows setup clean
  1. Does it find the CD drive during the POST?
  2. maybe its something simple like the jumper position in the wrong place on the hdd. (1)cable select (2)master (3)slave.
  3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you didn't install the OS yet?

    Make sure the CD drive and HDD are detected in the BIOS, and that the jumpers are correct, like the others said. And make sure the HDD is partitioned correctly. I would reformat and rerun fdisk to partition the HDD again and see if it then works.
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