I don't think it is you being paranoid. Throw it all back onto Microsoft. I have had similar problems when re-installing the same version of Windows 7 for the same reasons as you. I assume Microsoft want anyone not using Windows 8 to get so frustrated with them that people will eventually change OS. Don't do it. Windows 8 is a nightmare. I would also avoid any more recorded help lines if this happens again. Email them or try to contact a real person and demand they fix it or ask for your money back. Consumers have rights that large companies seem to ignore - Facebook campaigns work really well if they don't listen to you. Also, remember if you are asking these questions, guaranteed others out there also have the same problem. You are not alone!