Sorry, it is an acer aspire!! it was a long day that day! anyway i managed to do this in the end. my lappy wouldnt install vista or windows 7 without the sata controller driver and the driver from acer was in an exe format and the install needed .inf format, so I downloaded an application called "belarc advisor" to find out exactly what motherboard I have. i then went to the motherboard manufacturer site (intel) and downloaded the correct driver from there. i used these files on installation using a usb hard drive and it worked. i now have a dual boot with vista home premium and windows 7 ultimate
just for the record, apparently vista and 7 dont need drivers for most sata controllers but in some cases they are still needed. I have also unhidden the recovery partition and am installing back to factory restore (on the vista install) so I can use the alt f10 method to restore in future.