Without going into excruciating detail, let me just say that I have survived my very first foray into dismantling computer viruses and malware.
Seems odd that it never happened on the home computer; after all, I've roamed around plenty of dark ugly cyberspace corners on dial-up too in the past 15 years, and have downloaded plenty of things.
Anyway, after much trial and trouble, I seem to be malware/adware/virus free once again.
I feel like I just had a shower.
(*sniff*) Smell that? The soap is grapefruit-scented.