OK, since your system will boot with a CD, let's try this. Acronis provides the ability to make a bootable rescue CD. The backup you made should be recoverable if you use their rescue CD. All of the backup software usually create a compressed backup to save space. They are like zip files. In the case of Paragon, it is an arc file, another compression algorithm. I forget what Acronis uses.
Now, since you can find Paragon arc folders, they are the backups you made in the past. Paragon should also be able to create a bootable rescue CD which can restore from the backups you found.
So, you must create a bootable rescue CD for either Acronis or Paragon, and then use that rescue CD to boot your laptop and restore from the backup. To do that, you will need to install either Acronis or Paragon on either your old laptop or your husband's system. Then follow the instructions in the appropriate link below:
For Acronis: http://kb.acronis.com/content/17508
For Paragon: http://kb.paragon-software.com/paragon/include/templ/object2.jsp?catId=2124&objId=6038&statId=1637086&foLang=en
Using the appropriate instructions above create either the Acronis or Paragon Recovery CD. Then boot from that CD in your crashed system, follow the instructions and browse to your backups and then recover from the crash. After recovery is completed, remove the recovery CD and reboot your system. At that point it should then, hopefully, boot into the recovered system.
If the first one you try doesn't work, then try the other software.