Yesterday, I thought the problem was somewhere on the network. But I discovered the same problem occurs in all my windows, including things like Notepad, which are not running over the network and have nothing to do with the network. Also, I tried to run ScanDisk to see if there was a hard drive problem, and it kept restarting every 3 or 4 seconds, and giving me an error message every 10 times it restarted. So, something is accessing my hard drive every 3 or 4 seconds
The sorts of things I'd blame for this would be either a virus or a spy program (such as a keyboard logger), but AVG anti-virus, Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware have found nothing, and I've just updated all their databases today.
Now I'm going through running MSCONFIG, the System Configuration Utility, with a Selective Startup. Apparently there are six areas from which applications can be launched when Windows 98 starts: Config.sys file, Autoexec.bat file, System.ini file, Win.ini file, the StartUp folder and the Windows registry. I'm adding one item at a time to see at what point something starts accessing my hard drive every few seconds. Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, System.ini and Win.ini have all come up clean, and the StartUp folder is empty, so it's something in my Windows Registry that's loading, running in the background and giving me grief. But so far I haven't found out what.
This is so fucking tedious.