Thanks very much. Too late! After trying to restore and finding everything gone (!) including Program Files, all programs (!) I'm now trying to restore from an image made at the beginning of the month. Even the system restore didn't work inside windows so I used F8 to get to the restore from there and it seems to be working, recognizing the external drive where I backed up... this will be so much better than the two system restores to factory settings I had to do this year... I hope!!!
I'm going to bookmark your linked page though and come back and read it when I have time.