Hi again, Brink,
Thought I'd keep you 'in the ring' on this one;
Microsoft Support has finally acknowledged that my problems are rooted in a faulty Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit DVD, and has advised that I seek a replacement from the seller.
I have a few questions posed to them and those are:
(1) should I try the 64Bit version included in the 'family pack'
(2) does trying the 64 bit version affect the software's EULA as far as my rights are concerned (I don't particularly want to go 64 Bit at this time, unless someone can convince me that it's the way to go) and can I revert to the 32 Bit version when my DVD replacement arrives.
(3) can I use someone else's 32 Bit software with "my license" in the interim until I procure the replacement pack from the retailer
I would also like to thank you guys for the very informed interchanges we've shared, and to let you know that I've learned a lot from interfacing with you'all.