I am just going to put my 2 cents in. My machine is so new that 7.10 won't install. The Hard Drive won't recognize as described above. The only option I had was to try the 810 Alpha install. I am still trying to see if that works out.
The problem I think is the driver for the controller board for his motherboard. Burn a 7.10 cd try to install see if you get no hard drive error. Then do the same with a 8.10 cd. If the 8.10 finds the hd and the 7.10 doesn't you are in the same boat I am.
Well I might have found a work around. Go into your bios. Setup your sata from IDE to Raid. Then try to install 7.10 again. All of a sudden it found my hard drive after I tried that. The alpha install didn't work for 8.10.