Thanks for your support.
I've actually just got 272b running on another laptop of mine, a Dell Latitude running 32bit Win XP Pro. It runs much better than on the newer Toshiba I have. Oddly, It is ironic because other than having lesser power, the Latitude is very similar to my big Dell Desktop (which I can't get it running on) but is also running 32bit Win XP, but the Home edition.
Also oddly, on my Latitude, I haven't yet installed the Python 27x.....it's still only has 262 installed, yet it is running best on this machine so far. I can't use it extensively though for heavy Blender, because it tends to run very hot and I'm afraid of baking it and killing it eventually.
I tried downloading and installing another version of the .dll file on the big Dell, but still got the same behavior.... failure to launch with the same error message.
On the Dell laptop, meanwhile, armature appends are going much better, and bvh file imports have been going well.
One problem is, whenever I append an armature action from a 249 file into 272, it combines both the "object" part of the action with what used to be the separate "armature action" (in 249 there were actions that moved the individual bones, etc, and separate ones that moved the armature itself as an object around, example as if it were a cube). The "object action" was set in the IPO window, while the "armature action" was set in the Action Editor. In 272, there doesn't seem to be a way to distinguish between the two and I can't control which is applied to the target....there is just one window and one entry field that seems to do both and without distinction in Action Editor.
I have also noticed, that under certain circumstances in 272, if I use that window to remove an action from an armature (click the X box), that armature continues to react to the action despite the window showing it is has been stripped off and now shows blank. This continues until I apply a new action, upon which it follows that new action and abandons the old one.
On some 249 files loaded into 272, none of the contents show up in the outliner.
If I install all those different incremental versions of Blender on my machines, will they interfere with each other (because of altering system files etc)? What is the best way to insure that doesn't happen?