Trouble installing operating system not detected

So my mother's laptop broke (dell inspiron 1545) and it was a dead hard drive. I ordered a new hardrive from newegg and I popped it in plugged in my regular usb drive for installing windows 7 on any new hardrive and interestingly enough it'd tell me disk i/o error or else no operating system. I tried another computer same thing I just don't know how to install an operating system on it and I'm not sure the different between ata and ahci
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More about trouble installing operating system detected
  1. Will this hardrive be usable with a regular pc or do I have to use the laptop if so when I turn it on it will say no operating system or invalid system disk
  2. I really need help with this.
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