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How did you try to open the project?
From RH7's start screen. I selected the topic from the recent topics list.
Wrong. RTFM. Please reread my topic on Opening Projects.
You delete both the XPJ and CPD files and then use File | Open to point to the HHP file. But that's not all of it. You do need to read that topic.
Anticipating alternate opening suggestions (but forgetting to re-read the topic) I tried the following before your reply:
I deleted the .cpd then double-clicked the .xpj file itself without going through RH7 first--everything worked!
I was able to delete the corrupted topic right away (which had a name now, before it had lost its name) and the rest of the project seems intact and I was able to generate an HTML help with no apparent hiccups.
Sometimes deleting just the CPD works and sometimes not, so usual advice is trash both, that only leaves the HHP file.
As long as losing what has been lost is not an issue, glad it's all sorted. If you are not sure what has been lost, don't ask! You know where I will point you. :-)