To begin, yes, there are similar questions out there, even on this site. However, none of them seem to off a solution outside of format the computer.
Story time! (Or the background to this whole ordeal)
Pretty sure this one has been looming for at least a month, since it was about a month ago when I tried to update AVG 2014 -> 2015. It failed, and in the meantime I installed AdAware until I could mess with it more. The other day I finally realized after some help on AVG's forum that several things were missing, such as Windows Firewall. I finally found this link which allowed me to get things going and AVG reinstalled. It did find a couple viruses, which were removed, but then I noticed that explorer had multiple instances running, some of which were near to well above 1,000,000 K memory usage. AVG hasn't found anything else. AdAware obviously didn't find anything, and MalwareByes didn't find anything either, though it is constantly blocking internet requests from explorer.exe. I even corrupted explorer.exe so that sfc could fix it, and still the issue persists.
I had a thought that perhaps a driver was to blame, based on a previous experience with the Google redirect virus, however, nothing looks overly suspicious in the device manager or in the drivers folder.
Any hints or suggestions are welcome. I'm really trying to avoid having to do a refresh on this computer, as reinstalling everything takes a good 10+ hours if things go well.