Frankly, I'm amazed that my system works as well as it does if I can't even get ScanDisk to run in Safe Mode ... I suspect that some sectors are corrupted in the parts of the disk holding the OS ... which would explain why my Windows 98 has "degraded" in odd little ways (for instance, it won't do the "detail view" in Windows Explorer anymore).
I suppose I could dig up the original install disks and try re-installing W98, but what I really need to do is to finally get everything moved over to the new XP machine. God, I hate moving between machines ... every time I've upgraded to a new computer it's taken me over a YEAR to actually make the switch! Bleh.