That is what happened to me yesterday. A friend of mine has bought a fujitsu-siemens Amilo pro v3205 which shipped with knoppix linux. When he tried to install windows xp on it, the installer could not find the hard drive. However, Window Vista does not have this problem. In fact manufacturers now are focusing to make their new model compatible with windows Vista, which are not necessary compatible with windows xp.
After some search in google, I found an article by Eko Wahyudiharto that explain how to install SATA hard drive with windows xp without using hard drive. Eko Wahyudiharto solved the problem by using nlite, a small tool that allow you to add or remove drivers and other components to the windows xp installer CD. That was great, but the tool requires the drivers to be in .inf extension, while most of the drivers available in the internet are .exe. So, what is the solution? You need to extract the exe file to get the right files. In my case I downloaded the driver from fujitsu-siemens website as exe file. Then I tried to extract it using winrar. It works but the .inf file is not there. Fortunately I found a command in the read me file that did the trick. " c:\some-path\