This item is from the Yet Another Enhanced IDE/Fast-ATA/ATA-2 FAQ, by John Wehman and Peter den Haan with numerous contributions by others. (v1.92).
First and foremost, do you have an Enhanced BIOS? See section 2.8 and Q1 for more details. If you do have an EBIOS, make sure you have enabled translation: usually, either 'Large' or 'LBA'. If you see no such options in your BIOS setup, remember that some types of BIOS offer them only when you tell it to autodetect the drives.
Last but not least, remove all old partitions before trying to create new ones after changing the translation mode.