Confused noob with core i7 build and hard drive problems with Vista

Yesterday I built my core i7 system. This was my first ever build. The computer is booting fine, I can run the BIOS setup and see the three hard drives I have there: a Western Digital Caviare 500gb, and two 1.5Tb Seagate Barracudas.
But I am struggling to install Vista.
I did not format the drives or anything - did I need to?
Do I need drivers for them?
When I got to the screen Select drive to install Vista to, when I clicked my WD Caviare it gave me an error message which I can't remember now. The drive then vanished from the list.
When I tried to install it on one of the Barracudas - which were still showing - I got an error about the system volume. I can't remember the exact wording of these errors I am afraid because I just expected everything to work out fine.

Anyway, I then used Microsoft's help, and cleaned the WD Caviare using diskpart.

Now I am getting an error on startup on SATA1 (the WD Caviare) and Windows is not even running off the boot CD.

I am confused and becoming somewhat anxious.
Did I miss any crucial steps?
I have a ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard, 12gb corsair RAM, a 750W corsair power supply.
What should I do next?
3 answers Last reply
More about confused noob core build hard drive problems vista
  1. ^ Always do a full format of the new drives...
    And see if they need any SATA drivers to be loaded during the OS installation...

    As for the Windows not running of the boot CD, check if the first boot is set to the CD drive...
  2. Thanks - how can I do this format? Seeing as I can't get into Windows?

    The first boot is set to the BluRay drive where the CD is.
  3. ^ When you boot from the DVD, you get an option to format the drive before OS installation...
    Check out this guide for a clean installation...
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