I think I might try downloading and burning the bootable version of Partition Wizard, or some other third party partitioning software. Maybe it will see the drive and allow you to partition first.
If you have another computer, try putting the drive in there to see if it can be formatted.
Or, when on the partition window during the install, hit Shift+F10 and run Diskpart to see if it can see the drive.
In case you do not know, inside the Command prompt window, type diskpart and let the utiltiy start.
Then type list disk to see if it shows your drive.
If it does see it, type select disk X, where X is the disk number.
Then if you want to partition, type create partition primary size=75000 for a 75 G partition or leave out the size and the entire drive will be one partition. You could also clean the drive here if you wish, just type clean to wipe it.
Type Exit to leave diskpart and exit to close the window.