On my Vista machine with the os preinstalled (not Evesham) tapping F11 on startup (possibly different key for you) gets me into the recovery partition.
Here i have three options;
Repair the installation
Recover without data loss
Factory reset the os
Not exactly worded correctly but along those lines.
I have tried these when i first got the machine and all worked ok,though now if i get a problem,i use the ATI image or the recovery disc i created if ATI fails.
I would look at possibly the F10/F11 keys on startup and go from there.
Can you see the hidden partition from Disk Management ?
Might be something here to help click here