Still tying to find an answer but maybe I have made a little progress.
I could not figure out how to make a xp boot disk as all the sites I looked at wanted me to use 6 floppy disks and I don't have a floppy drive.
I then remembered that on my old laptop, which was XP Home ED, that I had 4 Quickrestore System Recovery CD's. I put the first one in and it showed a menu but it also said it would reformat my hard drive if I continued so I stopped and took the disk out but somehow ended up with a C:\ prompt in DOS. I can't seem to do much with it though. It only shows 90 files on the C drive and no directories which I am not sure is correct or not.
Just to recap, my new laptop can with a C: drive loaded with Vista and other stuff AND a second partitioned D: drive called DATA. What I did was shrink a little of the C: drive for the XP and renamed that drive D: (XP) - left the C: drive as is and named VISTA and changed the original D: drive to E: for the data and then my CD-rom is the F: drive.
Does anyone have any ideas not that I have a C: prompt?
It will not let me change to a D: drive or an E: drive from the C prompt.
Thanks and getting frustrated ;-)