Thank you, Jack. Thank you, too, nk215, corkyg. I'm still halfway through following Jack's advise (reinforced by corkyg) so still holding breath.
I actually found the same advise earlier online but buried under so many others didn't see it as the underlying principle. It makes sense. I am still using my EASEUS Partition Master Pro since Acronis TI would set me back $50. I created the Boot CD from EASEUS, booted into it, then imaged my "C:" partition and the "System Reserved" (don't know if I need this but just in case) onto a USB HDD outside Windows. It took all of last night imaging the 60GB so tonight I'll try restoring it to my new SSD.
I will try HHD-to-SSD if unsuccessful.
Thanks again. I will update this with my results.
Fun. What else is there?