Oh LinuxQueastions, we must stop meeting like this.
So anyway I was happily formatting my old Mandrake 9.2 partition and so I deleted it with the aim of resizing the rest to fille the gap.
Mandrake, puzzlingly for linux, asked me to REBOOT (an unholy word) for the partition table to be written before any further options could be used.
Stupidly, I complied and now, post-deletion, my Mandrake10.0 partition changed from being hda6 to hda5 and my swap changed from hda7 to hda6.
The problem ladies and gentlemen is that my bootloader now can't even load init and goes into kernel panic because it tries to load from hda6 (the old Mandrake10.0 but now the swap) and my 9.2 install (on hda5 before but now gone) does not work either in any way despite being linked to the right partition..
I can get to the rescue mode and into CLI so I COULD fix this if only I knew what the hell to do. I feel really bad because now I can't even blame windoze for my predicament and I really should have known lilo would have no clue what's going on.