Failed XP install left vista partition lost-HELP!


I tried to install xp on a vista machine by following instructions I originally found on a forum some 4 days ago. It directed me to go into disk manage (manage) and ad a vista directory/partitions and , I was stupid enough to al;so change the letter of s of the vista hd. Once I began the XP installation from vista things moved normally until the restart process when no longer was there a partition to be reckognized. I tried R-studio from a n xp machine to which I attached the Vista drive via USB (special adapter w?individual power). With R-studio I seem to be able to see some of the files but, when recovered, they were invisible in XP. I tried Knoppix and Ubuntu with the same result (except that once mounted the drive inubuntu, I could see the drive and two partitions (raw) and unallocated. I have tried mos everything except formating the drive.
Acronis was unable to help... and, I really need the images in that drive. Any ideas?

Editor 13x
If the drives are in RAW Format then everything is gone from them. RAW format is how a drive comes from a factory and you need to make a partition and format it from RAW Format to something that a OS can use.

So if everything from Ubuntu to Windows to Acronis is seeing it as RAW partitions and format then the data on there is lost.

Your only hope would be to use the partition you know you didnt have the data you need on and format it to NTFS and isntall XP. From there create a partition for the partition that you had the data on and try recovery software.

No guarantees that it will work. But that is your best option at this point.
Mak I think GParted live would help here. First instead of removing the drive out of the case and putting in an external drive case you boot live on the original system with GParted. The Vista primary should still be readily seen there as well as the new partition created for XP.

Once the new primary is formatted XP would then see a second attempt later seeing the Vista mbr restored once XP is on and running. That would have to been done anyways when seeing XP installed on a second primary following Vista. From there EasyBCD would take care of seeing XP added into Vista. The files will still be found right there on the Vista primary once that version of Windows is back to normal.
Thanks fellas, I actually got all my data back using R-studio but, dealing with Vista has been a real pain...
Anyway, at this point I have been trying to install XP in the cvista machine but, it now appears that upon installing XP the SATA Controller driver on the chipset are lost and, the manufacturer (Dell) does not provide them. I have tried Intel and other general search3es to no avail. Any ideas???

Dell should still have drivers available since they soon offered the "choice of OS" when the initial reaction to Vista was poot due to the need for more memory then what Dell was selling their models with! New models now see 3gb or more with the choice of XP last I knew or Linux as an alternative to Vista.

Which model are you running there? Sometimes the MS update scan will see sata or ide controller drivers as an optional hardware update. The Asus model here doesn't see Vista drivers at the Asus support site being intended for 2000/XP. At least had the chipset drivers available.
cfdgrd1 is the model and, according to dell the only controller driver they have is a samsung whose iso app will not work with the western digital caviar in the lille insapiron I am dealing with.

Goto, click on drivers and downloads, and than use search specifying your machine model and the model of the hardware you need a driver for and optionally the OS to see if you can pull up results specific to the OS that you need the driver for.
Still trying to install xp!

After much searching , I found the drivers. Unfortunately installing them is a different matter. Upon getting to the f6 option , the machine 530s dell is unable to get the driver because ther is no embedded floppy and the floppy is the only option offered. Isthere another way to get those drivers loaded?
I have an almost identical machine to which I have attached the original sata in order too try and gat the .inf in place somehow...
You should be able to use a USB Thumb Drive. If not create a slipstreamed CD with the drivers.

nlite will do this for you.
Thanks fos all the help guys!
I actually found a way to solve my particular problem by just swapping drives between machines. They were actually two different model of the same family (dell 530s and 531s
The 530 s has a simpler bios and would not accept XP during re-boot due to missing SATA drivers (lost in the XP installation since XP does not include them-I was trying to install XP sp2).
However, the Dell 530 required minummun work and is now working perfectly with XP. The 531s Vista machine had to have drivers insatlledfor a couple of extra features but, also has no problem with the swap.
I eventualy found the SATA and other interesting drivers and application that I promise to post here (links) as soon as I get back .

Thanks agaibn to all ofyou for your encouragement and patience, your steady advise was an inspiration in solving this problem.

I will make sure to pay it forward.

Bill Lara
Editor 13x
Director (E.I.C. Publications)
Florida Association of Hispanic Journalist