You didn't answer the question: do you have Recovery discs that were made from the system? These are "free" as long as you make them before trouble starts and you do have to provide the blank discs.
I thought that your system will not boot to Windows, so how do you know that the HDDRecovery partition is assigned C: as a volume letter? What are you booting into? If you can see the C: drive, what files are on it? Some of these recovery partitions have known disk image files, such as those made by Norton Ghost.
To use the system without an OS installed, you could boot from a Linux Live CD. Ubuntu is a good choice since it comes with lots of apps pre-installed. You can even use it to look around for files that might still be on the hard drive. You will need a working system to create the Ubuntu CD unless you already have one or can borrow one.