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Boot Failure following manual Restore, spldr fails to load

I had to restore a Windows 2008 R2 machine.  The machine was backed up with Backup Exec 12.5.  I used BE 2010 R3 per a Veritas KB article.  Did a manual restore of C: drive, System State, Shadow copy.  Excluded SQL.   Backup Exec reported it completed successfully - the history showed no errors at all.  BUT  on reboot the machine fails to boot except in Directory Services Repair Mode.   In DSRM everything otherwise looks good. 

Here are the symptoms/events:

1. BSOD: A device attached to the system is not functioning (0xc0000001)

2. Booting in DSRM, the following events are in the event viewer:

- Event ID 7023: 'the following boot start or system start drivers failed to load:  spldr"

- Event ID 7026: 'Software Protection Service Terminated, the system cannot find the file specified.'

Things i tried/checked:

1. Software Protection Services in services.msc won't start, same error - system cannot find the file specified (path C:\Windows\system32\)

2.  the spldr.sys file exists in System32\drivers folder and sppsvc.exe exists in the System32 folder

3. tried sfc /scannow - no errors found

4. tried replacing the spldr and sppsvc files from installation disc.  checked permissions on both

I'm out of ideas!  any help appreciated.