It sounds like you used logical and not primary partitions. Most recommend no more than 3 partitions on a single HDD, and to make each a primary partition. The fist partition, for the OS should be set to active.
For recovering your partitions:
-- Do not do anything with the existing hDD until you are ready to recover. Install it as you did before as a secondary HDD to another computer.
-- Easeus makes a recovery program that is free for home use here.
You will have to install it on the other computer and run it on the affected HDD.
is another free program that is a little more diffcult to use (read the wiki), but it works well.
I have successfully used both, just pay attention to the guide for TestDisk.