Yo, I'm not the OP here; not possible for me to mark as [Solved]...
But, I think I might experiment a little more. Like install Ubuntu by itself on the HDD, install VirtualBox, then run Win7 in virtual environment from Ubuntu and maybe in seamless mode. Lots of work getting Win7 drivers installed - I have an OEM version of Win7.
And since I've borked the RST cache on the 32G SSD, I might think about replacing HDD with an SSD.