I used a drive freshly formatted with dos 6.0. No autoexec, no config.sys.
a simple DOS bootdisc (downloaded from www.bootdisc.com) is enough for the job. Also, you need the config.sys to load the device drivers.
have you connected an other drive while booting up?
There are no drivers loaded in case that the drive isn't recognised by your PC while booting up. So you have to connect an other drive during the bootprocess and to flash the "dead" drive after you have connected it instead of the working one.
P.S. connect both drives to the psu and just remove the IDE cable from the working drive and connect it to the dead one after booting up. Also, make sure that the drive is set to master or slave and not cable select.