Yippee I am recovered! (Thank you Acronis.) I was able to do a full restore of a backup taken on April 6 from my [temporary] 100MB drive onto my [permanent] 250MB drive, and then restore a current backup of just my volatile files (Documents and Settings/ole) over it. There were three keys, first, installing XP from scratch directly onto the drive, to get the boot sector and partition table right, second, having a large direct-connected drive to hold the backups (over a network, they take forever), and third, remembering that in order to restore "ole" I needed to sign on as "administrator". It all worked, and I am happily up on the 250MB drive with no apparent data loss. Whew.
I am no longer desperately seeking sympathy. Although I am mindful of the fact that precelebration is the root of all failure. As Dave Winer says, "praise Murphy" :)