have you checked the bios? it may not be set to auto and is still trying to use the old configuration. Obviously if you just stick a 40gig drive into the notebook then you wont be able to access it. Have you partitioned it and formatted it?
Jumpers have been checked they are ok ive reset the BIOS to user , auto,and some other but still no joy now thats sometthing i never thought of i didnt realise that age had anything to do with it I'll check up on that one thanks for the input postie
If it's a very old computer BIOS may not support it. In which case you have one of two options update bios, or use disc overlay software from manufacturers site so it will recognise the full size can you see the drive at the start of your computer in dos screen