Apparently, my HDD was too far 'fragmented' to fix. I tried the PW steps in the order you gave them, but then my system would no longer boot into my C: Windows partition.
So, I reinstalled Windows, which was a blessing itself, because it fixed a problem that had gone unfixed by a prior re-installation of Windows: The blasted "RED X" on the Speaker Icon in the Task Tray, with 'No Audio Device Installed' error message.
I am in the process of reconfiguring my new setup, and it seems that the sound is now working. I am just hoping that it continues to do so.
Take good care, and thanks again for all your help!