Thanks for the courtesy of your reply. This forum is of inestimable value in offering top-notch help to infected users.
You guys are doing a great job and valuable work.
I have been knocking myself senseless with this for over a week now.
Turns out what I had is the Tdss rootkit or some variant.
This is a particularly good piece:http://www.prevx.com/blog/139/Tdss-rootkit...ns-the-net.html
Standard tools that I used were not able to detect the presence of this rootkit.
MBAM, SuperAntiSpyware. much as I like and trust them, never saw it the infection on my machine.
Ultimately, what nailed the bogey and fixed the problem for me was Dr. Web.
Dr. Web located 2 infected files: Backdoor.Tdss:565
nvata.sys in the system32/drivers folder.
And an infected exe of Diskeeper dkservice.exe:168
Symptoms of the infection: Google Redirects and an inability to enter SafeMode (BSOD)
12 hours later I am currently symptom-free, but watching things carefully.