well - no go unfortunately.
uninstalled and re-installed sabnzbd into a folder as you suggested - c:\users\xxxxxxxxxxx\sabnzbd.
also associated the .NZB with the install.
on initial desktop click - no go. added the sabnzbd.ini file [ created it with notepad and saved it into the same folder as the program ].
modified the desktop shortcut with "-f sabnzbd.ini" and it launched the wizard.
completed successfully and launched the UI.
clicking on a downloaded .NZB file still gets the same error -
SABnzbd detected a fatal error:
Cannot access the user profile.
Please start with sabnzbd.ini file in another location
very frustrating - I had sabnzbd working for more than 2 years...
any other ideas
really appreciate the help here.