First time I read the thread, and performing a repair installation was the first thing that came to my ind, too. I wouldn't recommend a format and reinstall, mind you, just a Windows repair installation.
If you are unfamiliar with this, please ask. It is really simple, but the terminology gets some confused. It has nothing to do with the Repair Console.
A repair installation won't mess with your updates or programs, and will take about thirty minutes to do.