Alright! I'm ready to box this project up and store it under a pile of cat litter. In my lack of experience and knowledge I am unable to get openwrt to boot from a sata drive. I cheated and just bought a cheap 80 gb IDE drive thinking "Fuck yeah! It'll work out of the box". This is rather untrue.
When dd'd to an ide drive the computer doesn't even see grub and fails to boot much sooner than the sata drive did. I have no idea why. In an attempt to hack and slap together a work around, because I am completely out of ideas, I am installing linux mint onto the drive. Then once I verify that can boot I will drop openwrt onto a different partition and see it if wants to dual boot. If that doesn't work, after the massive boss battle with GRUB, then I will melt this fucker down and sell the fraction of an ounce of gold it contains to make it seem work it.
Edit: drive won't boot mint either. CD drive is ide as well so the controller is good. I wonder if the drive is shit....I feel like gparted would have given a clue...
Edit2: booted the drive up on my battlestation. Everything booted just fine. That means the drive and cable are good to go which leaves me with....lupus. Bah, it's never lupus. No problems when booting from CD via ide so the computer is okay with bootind through ide, which would be strange if it wasn't.... I'm out of ideas...burying this project in cat litter