Short version: Your file/ folder permissions on your user folder are busted, possibly due to your security tokens from your old install having become invalid. Yoda says: "Fix it, you must". Refer to the info I collected here:
Have you tried saving your workspace with a name of your choosing? Does even the choice of what named workspace to use not come back after restarting?
I am not sure how that would happen after formatting the Hard Drive and not saving any of the old data from Photoshop - it was a fresh instal ?
I will have to sit down and read your site though
Noel Carboni - I never though of saving the workspace with a new name, never had to do that before, but will definately give it a try ... Thanks a lot , the both of you - lol, it's quite frustrating and I appreciate your efforts!!
Also, in Edit>Preferences there is a checkbox for Save Panels When Closing (or similar syntax), and be sure that is checked.