I know this post is late to the party, but if you have any PC which only boots to hard disk there are ways around that problem in order to install an operating system.Linux is by far the easiest. Slave the notebook drive into another computer or connect it to another computer by USB adapter. Linux installs are "portable" so a drive loaded in one machine normally boots fine in another. Bonus, you get Linux instead of Windows. Ubuntu LTS worked fine on my A31.
Windows on the other hand can be annoying. You could have a friend install it using another A31, or you could install using another PC then "sysprep" the hard drive after which you can plug it back into your machine, boot it, then let it detect and load your hardware. If your spare PC is a desktop, adapters to connect notebook PATA drives to desktop cables are only a few dollars and are a useful toolkit item.
Another method, allowing you to copy 2000 or XP to the hard disk, then insert it in your target PC, and install:http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/578/wind ... harddrive/
Then there's the Hat Monster method, proven for many years now:http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42051
Lastly, the techniques to run "frugal" installs mean you can boot a live CD image from the hard drive, and those are easy to install via USB.
My A31 is mostly used with an install of FalconFour's 4.5 live multiboot PE/DOS/Linux CD since I now use it for a troubleshooting machine. When in the live PE environment, it runs "Portable Apps" from a folder I designated for the purpose. http://falconfour.wordpress.com/2011/03 ... cdusb-4-5/
I've played with my A31 quite a bit, and it also boots fine from a SYBA SD-ADA45006 2.5" IDE 44-Pin To Dual Compact Flash Adapter
My 31 doesn't see a card in the second slot, but the second card I tested was a Transcend which doesn't boot either in the primary slot.