Thanks for both replies.
Jim Hardin, I was hoping I could save the programs on the computer with problems (Win 7 HP), reinstall the O/S, and then restore the programs, NOT port over the s/w from the older XP Pro laptop.
Brendan, Is the Back on Track version in NXT4 any better, just for future reference?
I DO have a backup, it's just a month or so old and I made some program changes since then. Would rather not take the laborious process of finding out what I've changed since then and reinstalling it all, and am not sure how to backup and restore my email since then. I popped an Open SuSe Linux CD in and IT had no trouble accessing the Internet, so I know the problem's Windoze, not hardware.
I DO have the main competitor's software, and that's my backup. Last time I tried restoring a backup it didn't remove the pc files before copying the backup mixed in with them. Bummer. I guess I need to format the partition first before a restore?
Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I will examine (as best I can -- it is WAY slow now -- the desktop to determine what programs I installed after the backup, try to find out from the manufacturer how to save email & other settings, then try the upgrade in place windoze suggestion. If that doesn't work, I will reformat the HD and try unpacking the backup there using my rescue cd. Unless you have further advice on this issue.