I read all the posts and you seem rather clueless in what needs to be done. Each user problem becomes unique especailly to the user. I can offer three suggestions for you:
1) Use Ubuntu bootable disk
3) Use Hiren's Rescue bootable disc
3) remove your laptop drive and mount in ext. USB case
If you use #1, then you have a working OS and burned OK should boot. If it doesn't STOP you have other problems. -OR- If Ubuntu becomes too difficult because you're learning and thus now have to get from step 1 to 2, sorry that's already posted on YouTube somewhere, google for it.
If you use #2, boot into it and find the mini-XP pgm. it will appear to look like things you've seen before. Take that as a clue you can retrieve files that way to your ext. HD.
If you use #3, then having removed the HD from problem laptop place in ext. USB case(mount it). That way you can access it via any other PC and retrieve files that way once ownership(google it, if need be) is granted.
FYI- Vista SP1 doesn't fix Vista, it updates it, it's not intended as a repair disc. You need to get a Vista "repair disc" which only corrects minor OS issues and/or access some OS repair features. Any Vista repair disc should work provided it is the same -32 or -64 bit versions for what is being used. if after the repair process the PC still won't boot, then only a OS install may help to get the laptop up and running. Depending on the OS being used, this may or may not totally wipe out the current data. Most OEM(Lenevo, included) tend to wipe clean past installs, but again the option may be there not to, it simply installs over the old OS and thus refreshes the old install. However, I wouldn't count on that. If you can install over old then great you data is still present and acts as if nothing happened. -OR- you do an OS install and it asks!!!!! Do you want to save the old OS install, answer *YES*. Provided, you have HD space, it will save the old install as "windows.old" and you can still access that as if a huge folder. There is no guarantee of all this, until done because so far no idea what restore/recovery Vista discs you have or if you've gotten anything since this original post, maybe new Vista install(retail version) discs. if you have access to retail not OEM type, the option of saving the old windows would be present.
I won't post any more advise as what I stated and others here have offered should cover the topic. At the same time, I'm not offering PC 101 to newbies, that's already been done as far as I see it through these forums and YouTube or googling the WWW. good luck