I wanted to first say thanks especially to Tyler1989 and Inaris for your continued help!!!
OK. Here is where I've gotten. I bought a aluminum external hard drive case that connects via USB. I hooked it to my hp and with my regular hard drive still in. I went into "my computer" and went to F: drive which was the crappy hard drive. It needed to be formatted since it was erased. I then inserted a OS disk in the cd-rom. I shut down and then I removed my HP's hard drive leaving only the crappy one in the case connected via usb. Win 95 wouldn't boot without a floppy, Win 98 Upgrade wouldn't boot without a floppy either, tried Win 2000 Pro Upgrade next and it would boot, load, and then it would get to a point where it would say, "insert 95 or 98 disk" to verify you qualify for the update. So, I did that. However, the next part is where it messed up. When it would get to the partitioning it would have a "create" or "install". I tried both and would get the same error stating it could not load it. I also went through the same thing just trying to do XP. I would get to that point and then I couldn't get any further. Now, at the very beginning of the boot process, it did say something about "couldn't partition...." but I couldn't read it and then at the bottom had something about "raid" or "3rd party". Might as well been in a foreign language.
I figure once I get the OS on there I can still keep it in that case and load the CD-ROM, USB PC card, and modem drivers and then just stick the hard drive back in the crappy computer. However, does the driver go in the hard drive?? Will it overwrite my driver for the cd-rom that is working and the one I'll be using on my HP?
I also found out that my CD-ROM for the crappy computer is
Model no. SR200S (any suggestions on finding this driver)
What should I do from here? I can borrow an external floppy from work and just put that on my HP and then I can put Win 95 or 98 on there. Is this my best bet? Also, any suggestions on creating a boot disk? Should I do it directly from the CD? I have looked all over the internet and there are so many, I don't know if they are the same thing or if they are all different? I made a Win 95 and a Win 95b boot disk from bootdisk.com and it didn't work but it could have been the floppy drive.(not sure)
The OS I'd prefer to run on this would be the 98 upgrade. I had 2000 on it but I'd rather not use the space. Will I need anything else since I only have the "upgrade" cd? Or, will a Win 95 disk work?
I could be wrong but I personally think it will work fine once I figure out the error when I get to the partitioning section or the error when first booting regarding something about the partitioning