After 10 hours of importing, exporting, and much other crap. I finally have Outlook working again. I still don’t know the cause of the original problem, though I did learn that when Microsoft puts a limit on Outlook file size, they really mean it.
So I get the new hard drive installed after flashing the bios, and finding a not quite recent SATA driver for windows, after that it installs fine and seems much faster, all well and good.
However, for some reason my Outlook quits working (I cloned my C drive over the new hard disk.) by not displaying any new messages. By some weird coincidence my outlook.pst file has reached the maximum size and once it reaches that point you can’t delete anything nor see new emails (even though it says you can). So now I have to make a backup copy and truncate that, hopefully not lose anything, and see if that works. The backup is copying over now.