Thanks, Shawn. I created a disc, but it doesn't really do what I had in mind--I see I'd need to restore Windows to such an earlier state that I don't even have those restore points anymore. Thanks for steering me away from spending money needlessly.
This whole difficulty arose because I couldn't get search to work from inside Windows Live Mail 2011. I tried everything
during the last 4 days. I decided 2 things: 1) to leave well enough alone. Search works from Windows Explorer, and that'll have to do for now. And 2) I decided to stop using WLM and move to Thunderbird. That transition was smoother than I thought it would be. I was especially concerned about moving email messages, but that was actually the easiest part!
I am now returning to the realm of happy camperdom!