Hello everyone! I have now successfully reflashed my Kindle. Seemingly my problem was a hardware issue; I used a different USB port after trying it again with a full charge. It installed just fine on my virtual machine.
I had a hiccup when flashing the diag_kernel; it said there was not enough space. I flashed the main_kernel first, then when back to the diag_kernel, and it flashed it that time.
Other than that, I was expecting the hurdles I needed to go through afterwards, thanks to the insightful information found here in the forums.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding; some of us are art majors and don't know our way around computers!