Everything is working fine now.
Win 7 disk works much better than 3 rd party partition programs, which caused some of the problems. Even though conceptually, working on a partition that did not have the OS on it, should have left the other partition fine, afterwards the C drive would not work correctly "currupted partition".
I tried a few of the suggested programs and in the end the only one that did the job cleanly was...surprise, Windows 7 disk.
Having backed up anything important saved the day as usual. I would make it mandatory (if that were possible) that everyone make frequent images of their C drive and did backups.
All input was helpful and appreciated.