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installing debian on SATA partition

I recently tried installing Debian (sarge and woody) on a new 120gb
SATA hard drive.  After I set up all partitions, I could not install
Debian (or Gentoo).  When trying to install Debian, when I get to the
parition step, it tells me something like, "No partitionable media
found."  I get the same error when I use the XP disk to partition the
hard drive.  I tried partitioning and then formatting the partitions,
but that didn't work either.  Right now, the computer has three
partitions, with Windows XP on the first one.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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