Thank you so much for getting back to me. I know you are a volunteer so I do appreciate your time. Unfortunately, I was so hard pressed to fix it, that I waited as long as I could and had to take action. I did this fix and I haven't had a problem since. http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/How-to-fix-...ts-t267407.html
I also re-ran the gmer afterward and C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\atapi.sys was no longer there.
I realize it's risky to just start pulling stuff off of the internet and trying whatever is out there in desperation. I took full responsibility for what could have happened to my computer since it was my stupidity for letting the anti-virus subscription lapse in the first place. It's a 5 year old laptop, everything was backed up, and perhaps in the back of my mind I could have let it go. (Although now that it's fixed, I think it's still a pretty good workhorse!). I think I got lucky with my fix.
Anyway, I've attached the new text file and the dds still would not run. If you have time, I'd appreciate your feedback on if my situation is ok. Otherwise, I thank you for getting back to me.