So, it turns out that my Windows 7 DVD (the one I’ve been pulling my hair out for the last couple of months trying to find) had been safely tucked inside a clear plastic bin labelled “nightstand”.
From this, I conclude two things: one, that the memory I had of it being near my desk was technically correct, but by the time I needed to look for it, the contents of my nightstand had already been relocated; and two, that ‘retracing your steps’ doesn’t work with fauly memories.
After a good few hours of installing Windows fresh to a fresh 2Tb hard drive, reconfiguring all of my settings and reinstalling most of my programs, there’s still a lot of space left. Most of the data from my previous drive is backed up, though I haven’t begun to replace any of that (other than my Sims 4 user folder, there’s just a lot to get to).
The next step is to gradually fix up my iTunes library to where it was at before, because there’s a lot missing.
I’ve also tested out a few new (free) graphics programs because I haven’t got Adobe CS4 installed anymore. Right away, this throws a wrench in my workflow for things like nondestructive editing. New software takes time to learn and depending what you want to do with it, there are specific things you simply can’t.