Anyone have any suggestions???
I don't really have any suggestions, but I hate to see you not get an answer from someone, even if it is just me saying I don't have an answer!
As I recall, SW2009 is not supported on Windows 7. It may be that you are finding a real bug. In that case, it seems like you only have two choices: upgrade SW to a version that is supported on Windows 7, or load an OS on the computer that supports SW2009. I'm guessing that the latter is cheaper, but it may not be the best solution. Will a Z420 have trouble running an older OS? Damned if I know.
That's interesting. I run 2009 SP5.1 on my machine for compatability reasons and I haven't noticed it removing descriptions from files. It's important to note that Windows 7 wasn't supported until SW 2010 SP0, so you might be suffering some fallout from that.
My first impulse in your situation would be to re-install SolidWorks-give it a chance to write it's forms to the registry and see where that gets you.
You might also consider installing XP on a partition and running SolidWorks under that configuration so that it will work in it's native environment.
But really, you should use this issue and others that are likely to arise from compatability going forward to make the case for getting SolidWorks on subscription again.