Shiver me timbers! Wish I had caught this a few days ago. Caught a nasty case of the MBR virus disease; couldn't recover Win 7 with the usual methods, so did a reinstall. However, this time I picked up a couple of inexpensive, small but fast (80 gb) drives. Reinstalled Windows and my programs on one of the small drives, then allocated my 1 tb drives to "data" and "backup." I then swapped out the small drive for the other small drive, and repeated the install. Next time I have a problem, I can switch the drives, and be up and running without delay, then reformat/install/fix the first system drive at my leisure.
I'll probably switch out the drives every month or so to keep both updated, though.