The original versions of XP had no SATA drivers. Just read these forums - you'll find loads of questions about trying to install XP on SATA drives. Have a look at this link
Of course there are loads of different SATA controllers, and different BIOS options, which might explain your success. But if the OP is trying to install pre-SP3 XP on a SATA drive that seems the most likely explanation for the behaviour mentioned.