I tried to install win98 on a spare IDE hard drive. So I detached my machine's current hard drive and attached the spare one (jumper set to master correctly). I went into the BIOS and it detected it. However, I didn't realise that the hard drive was faulty. So the win98 setup didn't detect the drive, it detected my USB external drive only (which I'd forgotten to switch off). So I immediately assumed that it was the drive I had just attached, and so deleted the partition. It didn't format, because it complained about not being able to boot. I think that might be because win98 can't be installed on a SATA drive (it's a SATA HDD in an external caddy, that attaches to the PC's USB).
That's when I realised what I'd done. I tried a few data recovery programs, but most only recovery files under a certain size. So basically I want my files back. Any suggestions much appreciated. Would some of the cmds from the recovery console in winxp help? fixmbr etc? I'm not great in this area :P