|Your downloaded repair disk may have done just as much as the HP recovery disk will. They are not designed to be interchangable. Lots of differences. The fact you can see a partition is a fair indicator. |
Not sure about Sony BIOS - if it has the hardware test option, and all hardware passes, then the problem is that the drive lost the master boot record. You may or may not get your data back at this point.
You can try booting with the HP disk. If the partition is accessible, then, get the Sony disk to do the repairs with. A plain vanilla Vista boot disk would be 2nd best to the Sony disk, which you have tried. HP and other manufacturers change things that may not be compatible with other units.
After checking out the laptop specs, I'd spend the $ on it ($100 or so).
I would opt for Windows 7 (upgrade) if that is a choice. Especially if there is nothing of value on the laptop.
The drivers are available.