Since you are no stranger to building PCs, can you get into the BIOS? It sounds like you are getting hung up in the BIOS before you ever get top booting.
Also, Compaq and HP have hidden partitions, often the BIOS info (or at least part of it) is included there. And since this is a brand new HD the hidden Proprietary partition is missing.
Compaq and HP keep the cost down by excluding as much of the hardware as possible that is found in your more common clones and do as much as possible using software. IF you build PCs using hardware you have buy the parts over and over, If you can perform the function using software, you only have to write the software once. This is also why Compaq and HP PC's have much more going on in the background and a higher drain on both memory and resources, than say a home built or Dell or Gateway PC.
This is for an HP, but it may help.
Recovery for HP when the recovery disks don't work or after a format
Now that HP owns Compaq they may have something similar for Compaq
Hope that helps.