Pro-tip for the next time you decide to do some Spring cleaning on your computer like I did recently. Make sure before you spend the weekend replacing your primary hard drive and reinstalling Windows and hundreds of gigabytes of games, that you are sure that the new drive is the correct speed. I mistakenly used a 2TB drive that I’d originally intended to use in my Blacx SATA dock. That’s important because I usually get 5400 RPM drives for that purpose as they generate less heat, and the speed isn’t that necessary. Unfortunately a 5400 RPM drive is noticeably slower on a Windows install, especially when launching the Skyrim Creation Kit and loading all of the required data files.
After much cursing, some drive imaging, trying a 3TB drive that couldn’t be partitioned correctly as a bootable drive, more cursing, and then reinstalling (again) on a 1.5TB drive, everything is back to the way it should be.