I think I need to correct my previously posted GMER log. I ran that literally in safe mode, without networking. It occurred to me last night that all my problems seem to show them self when networking is part of the picture, so I kicked it off again before going to bed. Well, it's still running (around 8 hours later), but I saved a pre-scan log that indicated that said something about device atapi have a "suspicious configuration." Or something like that.

I don't want to do anything that might risk the scan crashing, so I can't attach that file at the moment. (Writing this from another machine.) What's currently showing in the scan window for that device is:

Device -> \Driver\atapi\Device\Harddisk0\DR0 892A6AC8

There are more things listed, I hope to be able to post that soon.