In case anyone else has a similar issue, here's what I did.
1. Google for iPhone 2G OS 3.1 jailbreak. I used the iHackintosh site
2. Download the files from the internet. You'll have to find your own link because of copyright issues.
3. I then had my iPhone off and plugged it into my Vista PC.
4. I held the power and home buttons down. The iPhone booted, and I kept holding them on. I let it restart again, then it went into DFU mode. On my model this was a graphic of the iphone, a cable and "itunes" on the phone screen.
5. iTunes (9) launched. I held down "Shift" and clicked "restore" This gave me a file dialog. I picked the file I'd downloaded.
6. It restored, rebooted, and it appeared to be OK.
7. iTunes then asked to restore the phone, I said OK
8. It restored the backup, rebooted, and then sync'd.
9. I could smile again