It's likely not the SATA controller as Windows 7 installer has almost all of them except the most obscure.
Does the HD show up in BIOS correctly? Set SATA controller to AHCI first, then IDE mode if necessary.
Where did you get Windows 7? If you burned DVD yourself, burn another using IMgBurn at 4x speed - or try flash stick install: USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create
Try pre-partitioning the HD using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. Format NTFS Primary and mark it Active.
Remove all but 2gb of RAM to try install.
Test the HD using maker's diag/repair full CD scan: http://www.carrona.org/hddiag.html
followed by Disk Check
run from the DVD command line.