Ok, at the fact you said the boot manager was missing and that you got too tired and left it - it looks to me that Vista never installed properly. If you boot from the Vista CD again and get to the partiton manager bit (the first screenshot in the earlier post) can you tell me what it says?
Is the disk recognised?
Does it read as "unallocated space"?
or does it read as "Disk 0 Partition 1" ***this is what you want***
Are you sure the disk got formatted? Ubuntu formats the drive to an EXT3 type of Parition whereas windows uses NTFS
try and go through the whole process again. Formatting the disk and istallation should take ages so don't worry if you think it's taking too long. Have a play around with the advanced drive options, try deleting all the partitions on the disk if there is any, then format everything and then create a new partition and then proceed to install.