If you open the bios of the machine at boot time (Usually the Esc or Del key), does the bios see the drive?
I seem to remember someone saying that Fedora sometimes defaults to using the drive as a RAID array (i.e. LVM), which your old hardware may not support. I'd try using ext3.
If that doesn't work and you're going to nuke windows anyway, I would try using the GParted LiveCD
and format the entire partition as ext3. Then maybe the installer will see it.
You also could always try a different distro. If you want the most "Unix"-like distro, I'd try Slackware. I personally always recommend Debian (if it's going to be a desktop, go with either testing "Etch" or unstable "Sid"). Feel free to take the quizes in my signature...