Pressing Ctrl+Esc does not make the Start menu appear, but pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete does open the Task Manager. From here I can start just about any application (so long as I can find its executable file). The only application that will not launch in this manner is Internet Explorer (no error message, nothing happens at all). AOL, however, does run, and so I have a browser (if that's what you want to call it, lol!).
I have gone through all the steps on the topic about removing spyware/malware except for running a local virus scan. I use Trend Micro Pc-cillan Internet Security 2006. The main console launches, but when I try to update or run a scan I get a message that says the application is still loading and to try again later. The last update was on March 17 and the last scan was on March 18. I've run the Trend Micro Housecall scan twice.
P.S. If I need to launch an application to do anything you suggestion, please point me in the right direction as to where to find the executable for it. I've been able to find most of them, but some elude me (such as Windows Explorer and Control Panel). Thanks!