I agree with most of the consensus here - the problem is Windows ME. It has a built-in "feature" that randomly causes problems on the computer it is installed on -- ok, not really, but everyone I have talked to or heard of that uses ME says that it gives nothing but mysterious problems. You would be better off by installing a fresh copy of a new OS. I know that is not a very technical answer, but as you can see - most people are telling you the same thing! Good luck anyway.
IWill XP-333 / 384MB PC2100 DDR / AMD T-Bird 1.33GHz (o/c to 1.40 until I get a better CPU cooler!) / VisionTek GeForce4 MX440 / SB Live! X-Gamer 5.1 / Maxtor 20GB 7200 RPM HD / Toshiba 8X DVD / Sanyo 40/12/40X CD-RW / Win XP Home