okay so for those interested in a solution I figured something out that
seemed to work for me.
basically I made the original C drive the "active" drive using the drive
manager tool built into Vista Ultimate.
Then I put my OS installation dvd into the dvd drive and restarted the
computer. I hit the F12 key to get into the one-time boot screen and booted
from my OS installation dvd. I used the "repair" system option and it
reinstalled files that were missing from my C drive.
Once the computer booted normally I deleted the partioned drive and
reallocated the extra hard drive space to my drive using the "extend" drive
tool. Hope this helps some people. I'm relieved I got it to work.
> I ran the bitlocker tool but I don't want to use it after all. how would I
> go about reclaiming partition 'S'?