|So many mistakes.|
The Vista installation files were most likely on your HDD. Many OEM builders don't supply the install disks but they do place the files on the HDD along with instructions on how to create your own disk. That should have been done a long time ago when you 1st bought the PC.
Backing up files is a good thing but putting them on a 2nd partition on the same HDD won't do you much good if the drive fails.
When you took the plunge to install XP, did you wipe out all exisitng Vista partitions, then recreate one or more new ones, then format as NTFS (full)?
"I installed linux mint a couple of days ago but when i attempt setup from there...."
What setup were you trying to run from Linux? XP? You can't install XP on a drive that's been formated for Linux. You would have to create a separate partition & format as NTFS.
Take a deep breath & explain exactly where you're currently at & where you want to go with it.