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Please help before I throw a complete wobbler! (Link Cable no longer works)

Level 2

I had a Rift CV1 for years, finally upgraded to a Quest 2 end of last year.
Was working fine via Link Cable until this weekend - then nada.
I have searched and read many posts here - as well as on Reddit/Google in general. It seems there are a lot of similar issues, but with unique differences and therefore, fixes - I can't find a solution that works for my particular situation. Can you help?

The Oculus app on PC green lights the Q2 via link - and air link too just to test, pairing successful - I get the pop-ups to deny data and enable link, but then I see nothing more in the headset than the usual Q2 home. 

Until last week, I used to see a second curved dash, with a desktop option - clicking on that, I could fire up my SteamVR shortcut and enjoy my games. But where's that gone? Have I done something? Was there an update that broke it? (My latest update was manually since the problem.)

FWIW - SteamVR (now trying Beta to no effect) just says 'Headset Not Detected'.

I think* the only variable I introduced was an Nvidia update, but like I say, I've since rolled that back to the previous version with no luck.

Somebody please tell me I'm just being dim and missed an option/secret button press somewhere! 

I spent hours on this Sat and again tonight and it is chafing my bits no end...

(Toggled the 'Unknown sources' option on and off in the app both before and after launching Steam/SteamVR.
I've never seen SteamVR or its games appear in the library AFAIK & def don't now. 

I have updated/reset/rebooted/uninstalled/reinstalled/repaired everything I can think of, including headset, Oculus app on PC, Steam VR, rolled back Nvidia drivers to the last time it worked - the only thing left is a factory reset of the headset) 
Thanks for any advice you can offer.