From the live cd could you type 'sudo fdisk -l' in the terminal (Applications - Accessories - Terminal). That will show you a list of all storage media that are recognized by Ubuntu.
However, if I understand you right and the bios does not detect any hard drives - naturally Ubuntu won't either. Make sure the jumpers are set right, and check the cables on the hdd.
Last edited by oskar; 10-30-2007 at 12:28 PM.