The system forced itself to revert to a restore point and right now everything except one legacy program is working fine. I can live with that one fussy app so, for now, I'm not rocking any boats.
There's one program that got removed the by the restore. It's called "Fences" and is supposed to be compatible so I'll give it another try AFTER setting a new point.
Anyway, for now I'm calling this done. I know we didn't actually solve it but I'm content to let it ride for now. I have made a record the the thread and will have options if/when it happens again.
SevenForums is just a great place to go when trouble strikes. So meanwhile, many, many thanks to you very fine helpers. Elves?