Thanks fellow users:
I finally succeeded. Here's some background:
I was previously using an HP Slimline desk top with Vista.
I had been keeping financial data on Quick books for a number of years. 3 or 4 years ago I decided to begin using Quicken for personal use, to pay bills, balance check books and other. I had Norton security but it eventually became so slow, culling through all files on boot up, that I became annoyed and deleted it.
It appears that I began using Windows One Care in about September 2007 and used it's backup for my files. HP Slim line has a neat Pocket Media hard drive that plugs into the front of the computer. That's where I kept my backup. In about November, or so, 2009 Microsoft/Windows apparently discontinued One Care according to what I have read. At the end of December 2009 I installed Windows - 7 upgrade Home Premium 32 bit. Immediately on start-up I had problems with an interloper bandit that installed the Dealio tool bar. Not being able to resolve it, in a timely fashion, I bought a new HP desk top Pavilion with Windows - 7 64 bit factory installed. And plugged the Pocket media external hard drive on it. Updated my Quicken files for 2010 and began using backup.
So it seems that the scattered files are due to using two different computers and 3 or 4 different backup systems and procedures. What I eventually got was some files I could open, some zipped and some that were read only by the previous computer owner. Some files that I could not open. The files were stashed around in different locations and with different conditions/ protection on different dates. I always used the same Quicken "backup" feature but the variety of computers and internal backup procedures were changing hidden from my view. There are "files" and "catalogs" which seem to be duplicates of the files from September 2007 to December 2009. No wonder I couldn't find many files and no wonder my hard drive got so loaded up with hundreds of thousands of MB.
Now as to gaining access to the zipped and protected files, I plundered around in Windows -7 and finally after a few hours became fairly familiar with the features of unzip and change owner. Through a combination of reading the book Windows 7 Inside Out, Windows help, advice on this forum, and Quicken help, I finally was able to unzip the files, open them and read them. It was not easy or simple and no one component did everything. It took a lot of concerted effort from various sources.
The files are actually old, obsolete financial data that is history, not useful any more so I will delete them. But that will free up a lot of space on my external hard drive.
Again thanks for the help. It was accurate, useful, beneficial and certainly saved me a lot of time. Much appreciated.