I'm assuming that your cd/dvd rom drive worked before you reformatted your computer. Did you use this same drive that is installed right now to load an operating system cd to format the hard drive? Does the bios recognize the drive, but your operating system does not? Are you able to boot off of a cd? Does If the bios doesn't recognize the cd/dvd rom drive then you would you need to check cable/power/jumper settings, not driver issues. If the cd/dvd drive worked fine with the bios before, and no hardware changes were made, then there should be no reason why it wouldn't work now.
clasher, for starters could you please click on the 'Edit' button at bottom of your post to add further comments, instead of making multiple posts one after another. Or better still, wait until you've typed out your entire comment before clicking on 'Submit'. This is a forum, not irc, mate.
Next, which version of Windows are you trying to install at the moment? If it's Windows 98, what are you trying to install it from. You should be trying to boot the system from a Windows 98 Startup diskette, which would have mscdex.exe included on it.
If you are trying to install Windows XP from a Windows CD, then you should be making changes in BIOS to allow the system to boot directly from the CD.
BIOS is the 'Setup' routine of the machine itself. You usually access it by pressing <Delete> when the machine is powering up.
If you have Windows XP on CD, you don't need a boot disk.
Enter BIOS setup when you start the machine. Find the enties for Boot sequence and set 1st Boot device to CD-ROM, and all other boot devices to 'Disabled'. Pop your Windows CD in the drive, Save and exit from bios setup, and watch for the 'Press any key to boot from CD' message that will be briefly shown.
You will be asked at some point to insert your Windows Me CD if the version you have is an upgrade disk for Windows XP. You only need the Windows Me disk for verification.
You will also get the opportunity to remove the existing partition on the hard drive. At this point, it is a goood idea to do so, create a new partition in its place, and then continue with the installation electing to use the NTFS file system for the installation.
If the hard drive is empty you won't have a problem. When you get to the screen where you are asked if you wish to install Windows XP to the partition, follow instructions to remove the partition, and then follow the instructions to create a new partition in the unpartitioned space, using the NTFS file system.
(NTFS is much more efficient than the FAT32 file system used by Windows Me)
the windows i have is shhhhh!! pirated someone gave it to me
That is most likely your problem. Who knows where that originally came from. I'm sorry but we can't help very much with pirated software here. If you can't afford a copy of Windows XP then reinstall whatever came with the computer when it was new. If you need help installing Windows that is fine, but we won't help with pirated software.