What type of hard drive is it?.. Laptop hard drive or desktop hard drive?..
If its a Laptop hard drive and the laptop was originally bought with Windows Vista
or Windows 7 installed or bundled with those OS'es, then chances are the hard
drive and the laptop's BIOS are only configured run in those particular OS'es and
any OS prior to those said like XP will not work and upon inserting the XP cd and
installing the OS suddenly after the system loaded the dll's and drivers needed to
start a fresh installation of XP, a blue screen with some text will prompt you telling
that 'The System didnt detect any hard drive,.. blah..blah..blah.. press any key to
shut down...' Something like that.. That means you are trying to install an OS that
the Laptop was not configured or was designed to run only on latest OS'es other
This is now the usual for some well known brand of Laptops and desktop
manufacturer like Acer for example. This is because they joined the bandwagon of
Laptop and desktop manufacturers for a world wide campaign of not supporting
the XP OS anymore and will only support VISTA and Windows 7.
If its a desktop had drive and its installed in a Branded desktop, chances are its
BIOS are configured like on those branded laptops, to run with Windows Vista and
Windows 7 OS'es only. If not, or your system is customized then there's something
wrong with your hard drive. Try installing it on some other custom assembled PC
and see it works and if you can install and XP OS for example. If, you still
experience the same problem then assume its a defective hard drive, that's where
the importance of warranty comes in.. im sure you know what to do next. :-)
-- If, you managed to login in to your PC and you're just installing a new hard drive
for backup purposes or like you've said for formatting and repairing, then chances are
the hard drive is not yet partitioned by the system (your operating system).
If you're on XP, right click the My Computer icon then choose Manage then go to the
Disk Management console (Its in the Storage Tree) and look for the hard drive you just
installed, right click on it and choose create new partition, from there follow the
instructions on how you can format and mount the hard drive you just installed
so the operating system can detect it and apply any necessary user rights with it
so you can use it on any purpose you like.