so then the o/s is being installed on the 40GB HDD? Try to disable any cache in the bios (shadow, xtra). The install will go very slowly but should finish up. If your using one of the larger/newer drives, you probably need to install 3rd party drivers for the sata. Another thing you could try, but not sure how it will help, is to copy the files of the i386 folder to a temp directory on the HDD (just name it something you KNOW wont be used by windows, say make a directory named borysk_temp_install or something) and run the installation from the HDD instead of the cd. Also disable smart if you have it.
If you argue with an idiot he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
I am not a fast writer.
I am not a slow writer.
I am a half-fast writer.