Default [Q] help please

forgive me after 2 days of searching I need someone to talk me through this please,
many manuals, posts and links are old or dead
I am just a real beginner (but good at following instructions)

my XL: 4.0.3 HTC Sense 3.6 soft: 2.29.862.1 CID VODAP021 HBOOT 1.28.0004
phone is unlocked but I made the mistake to root and flash recovery without first unlocking bootloader
have tried everything (yes the drivers are installed) via htcdev page as well as the marvellous looking tool XLMultiTool.v2.1 by Lexmazter but when I go into fastboot and run the exe. the phone isn't recognised???
SO I AM STUCK even though the phone seems still ok

ideally I would like to accomplish the usual
1. unlock bootloader
2. recovery
3. root
4 rom

does anyone have the nerve of teaching me ( no I am not completely hopeless I did successfully root and rom my galaxy tab to an amazing Slimbean that is faster than light - I'd really appreciate it, strangely I love that XL