I'm trying to install Windows XP Professional. I go through all the steps; partioning my drive, copying all the files on to the hd, ect. Then when it goes to reboot it says "Primary master hard disk fail".

I've looked at many things that could of caused such an error, no solution has worked yet. I've tried 2 different hard drives and exactly the same thing happens.

In BIOS I can manually find the hard drive via IDE HDD AUTO DETECTION.

System specs:
ASUS P2B-F motherboard
Pentium 3 500 MHz
512MB of RAM
7GB hard drive

This is my last resort, hopefully someone can help.

Tried a different IDE cable?

Checked the drives have the jumper set correctly ?

I only have 2 IDE cables, one for my cd drive and one for my hdd, I've swapped them around and still same error.

Can you pick up IDE cables from your local computer store?

I've set the cd drive and the hdd to master and both are recognized.

You should be able to get IDE cables at any computer store for next to nothing.

Does the board have a second IDE connection on it ?

Yes it has a primary and a secondary.

I use primary for the hdd and secondary for the cd drive.

I suppose you could try swapping them out and also changing the boot order in the bios. Worth a go and wouldn't do any harm.

Try running F Disk.Delete partitioms then create a Max Dos partition.Run install again.

When I try run fdisk I get "No fixed disks present".

Resolved the problem by putting both the hdd and the cd drive on cable select instead of master.

this is wonderful, happy you were able to get this resolved. However, if your bios only recognized cable select, can you see the disk in the bios

Yes it recognizes in bios fine and real fast. I did some research and found it was best to put it on cable select if there is no other hard drive running on the same route.