Thanks RP. I am probably more guilty that the next guy when it comes to backing things up, but in this case the issue of lost email records and contact information was relatively easy to rescue. The problem came in when we realized that many of the functions of OE wouldn't work and then came the frustration of not being able to repair it.
Thanks everyone for your help and comments. I think that I'll just settle for what this free version will do until I buy another lap top and can wipe the HD on this one so I can start from the beginning again.
Like I say though, drawn and quartered would be too kind.