Yes, it was impossible.
Had to finally wipe windows since I was getting nowhere. I had an XP disk here, so popped it in and tried to delete the partition and start Windows 7 over again from scratch.
Even with the partition empty, my 7 disk would not allow me to do anything. I installed XP so I could salvage my second drive with my pictures, etc.
I will get my friend's Windows 7 disk to try.. Maybe the disk was damaged somehow, and was adding to my other problem. It's still not trying to load Windows 7 with the partition filled with XP. Strange, since it's only a couple of months old...
Now, the issue with the card moving out of 16-bit. I installed XP without a hitch. It's sitting on 32-bit color with no problem now. Is this a possible hidden problem that could come back, or was it just some crazy registry glitch, stupid bug, or something else? (That is, in your opinion/best guess...)