Not stupid in the least- quite challenging and it seems you were up to the challenge. An interesting solution which may help someone in the future.
I wonder if this could have been avoided by not running Intel display software package and instead just the driver which is preferred method amongst many clean install enthusiasts for reasons just like this.
We fix problems here routinely using System Restore. There is really no reason to turn it off as it doesn't affect performance in the slightest. In fact I would increase the amount of HD space so more Restore points hang around longer: System Protection - Change Disk Space Usage
Be aware that we see cases here often where GRUB bootloader corrupts Win7, often beyond repair. Many Linux enthusiasts will argue with this even as they are forced to reinstall both OS's: Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in Perfect Harmony
Dual boot Ubuntu-Win7