Something doesn't sound right here
XP won't do a partial installation either as it won't find a valid hard drive. I now have to think your BIOS isn't set correctly for SATA. It would say something about ACHI, enhanced, etc. Otherwise, if it was in IDE emulation mode it should allow a full installation. You need to check your BIOS to see how that port is configured.
Just a small trick to pass along. If a MB has both IDE and SATA ports, you can install XP on an IDE drive and install the SATA drivers from the CD ROM after Windows starts and goes through it's hardware detection and configuration routine. If the SATA ports are configured as such, you can install the drivers then. Once they are installed, you attach a bare SATA drive to the PC and boot it using cloning software. You clone the IDE drive with XP on it to the SATA drive. Then, shut it down, remove the IDE drive and restart the system. Voila! XP will boot from the SATA drive. It's an extra step or two but it works. I've done it several times.
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