Problem with too large harddrive
Some older models of ThinkPad will not get past BIOS (ie. BIOS will hang) when they see attached harddisk with size over 8 GBytes.
- ThinkPad 560, probably most older models.
Solution with access to other, more permissive laptop/desktop
Install harddrive in other laptop, run it's software and limit the size that it reports to BIOS. Then install into thinkpad. (MaxDrive for Maxtor, all other vendors have similar tools).
Solution with access only to affected laptop
Before installing harddrive install on it a jumper telling to drive to report itself to BIOS as SLAVE. BIOS will not see it and will boot happily (f.ex from floppy). Have harddrive manufacturers software to limit reported drive size on floppy. Use it on harddrive.