I don't want to be argumentative, but I am genuinely confused. I am going to quote from one of the articles I referenced earlier, and explain why I think it is my SATA setting
this is from http://www.prime-expert.com/articles/b03/solving-bsod-issues-during-windows-xp-installation.php
3. Stop 0x0000007B (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE): What does it mean
When Windows starts, it must load its Kernel into the memory. To do this, Windows must read the Kernel from the disk. In order to read the disk, Windows must load disk driver first. But disk driver can't be loaded before Kernel is already in the memory.
It's a kind of chicken-and-egg problem.
To solve it, Windows temporarily (only during boot time) is using different way to access the boot disk — not via usual driver, but via BIOS interface (Interrupt 13h). BIOS Interrupt 13h is slow, and incompatible with multitasking, so it is used only to read portion of the operating system from boot disk. Other disks are never read this way.
During the boot process, in order to remount boot filesystem in read/write mode, to reopen the registry in read/write mode, to load the rest of drivers, and to perform other necessary boot tasks, Windows switches from old BIOS interface for accessing the disk to native (driver) interface for accessing the disk. This switching allows disk access to be faster and more reliable, thus new way to access the disk is used until complete shutdown of the OS.
If this switching is impossible for some reason, then Windows Kernel fires error 0x0000007B (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE).
Usual reason why this switching might be impossible is a lack of driver: disk controller driver, or maybe bus (miniport) driver. There are also situations when the driver is present but contains bugs and needs to be upgraded in order to work.
The most probable reason why you are getting error 0x0000007B (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE) is SATA disk controller configured in AHCI mode, which is supported by BIOS interrupt 13h, but requires special driver from motherboard vendor in order to work in Windows.
my interpretation (or mis-interpretation) is that the DVD drive could be reading fine while XP install was in the initial set up phase of reading kernal files and drivers, but when switching to 'Starting Windows' mode and trying to use the drivers it had just read, it would crash for lack of a driver to facilitate enhanced SATA capabilities. Said driver not being needed for initial phase because of the interrupt 13h doo-hickey stuff in the article.