I'd like to thank everyone who contributed in this thread to solve the Dell media experience problem.
I had truly screwed up my harddrive after an unsuccessful linux installation. the fact that i still had my original dell utility and recovery partition was a good thing but the dell system recoery partition wasn't working as the dell boot code had been overwritten by a reinstallation of the OS.
but working through the steps on this website and on goodell's website i was able to fix both the dell media experience and my dsr partition
so once again thanks everyone as i was pulling my hairout trying to fix this and after carefully going over the posts in this thread i was able to fix it.
ps my system
inspiron 6400 core2duo T7200 @ 2ghz 1gb ram nvidia 7300go 256mb ram turbocache 15.4" widescreen. Windows xp MCE