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Format partition without losing it all


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I am looking to put OSx86 on my Desktop to accompany my Macbook, and in the past my OSx86 installs were all done on a separate HD making the process very simple. However now I have a unformatted 130GB partition on my second SATA drive (that is 500GB total) and I want to format it as HFS+ Journaled and put OS X on it. Sounds easy enough. Well I tried to have OS X use the empty space, and it informed me that all data on the drive would be lost. Hm, I said Ok anyway, and was presented with an error 1 second later, and both partitions (the 330GB with data and the 130GB that was empty) were gone.


That happened friday, and finally today after much effort i was able to save most of my data, however the folder structure was not preserved so I have thousands of files in 2000 folders named FOLDER#### that I need to sort through. Yay.


Now to the question at hand, how can I install OSx86 on the blank space without losing my data again and having to do multiple sector by sector scans to recover what was lost? Is there a way to format the drive in Windows so it is ready to go? I have Macdrive but it will not let me format the drive (which is known in windows as just a 'primary partition' unformatted without a drive letter)? Or is there a way to tell Disk Utility to use the free space in a non-destructive matter?



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