@burnout426 Thanks for the location of the Opera uninstall registry key. That's good info and will save me a lot of effort next time !
Before uninstalling the older version I checked and did not have have two profile folders. When uninstalling the older version the "box" you are mentioning didn't open. Instead after clicking to uninstall the control panel refreshed and both the older and current installed version were gone. Also, my Opera shortcut and launcher.exe in the install folder didn't start opera and I found the files sizes in my profile folder were smaller than the backup. That's when I went for a clean start and used RevoUninstaller (which had logged the original Opera installation) to uninstall whatever was left. Reinstalled and replaced the new profile folder with the backup and all worked. Fortunately I had saved the entire Opera Stable profile (instead of the backup files/folder in the help pages) and thank you for verifying that is the right way to backup. I still suspect the whole thing is related to the system restore. Also, good to know Opera uninstall by default doesn't delete my profile folder since I typically use Revo if I have to uninstall, which tries to remove everything. Thanks for taking the time to share the info!