triton - It's been a few years since my Windows Admin days, but I used to be one and teach MCSE... anyway... have you tried to just to a reinstall? During install you can specify the install directory (\windows). Granted, you will lose your registry and have to reinstall apps. It also (may) detect the OS there when you do that and change to repair mode... I've seen it happen that way too. Also, do some searching in the MS Knowledge Base.
I think it is bad luck to be superstitious