The issues found with Bonzai Buddy and OfficeXP (don't you find either annoying?) may not be your issue, but offer insight that other software can cause the issue.
I could go research the possible softwares that can do this and keep asking if you have this or that, but I'm not going to. Its your task to reveal all the software that you installed and then maybe some one will point out which was the toxic combo. I know an issue existed with a common firewall and the card games for some time. In that case, the firewall could be uninstalled since on Windows 95/98/ME there is no exploit known (hint, the firewall is not saving anyone on these OSes) for 95/98/ME if there is no network shares, OS updated and no servers running.
Again, I can't list all the possibilities since there are too many, but you must be PEST/PARASITE free since many of these bugs (which are not detected with your antivirus) cause such failures. Here's the usual:
My policy needle on the pest-meter is pegged at zero tolerance. I eject all that these five tools find.
http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6132-0.html?forumID=32&threadID=1313&start=0 notes the five scanning tools and removal tools that are fairly safe. If one does encounter an issue, its always been damage done by the MALWARE. The most common issue being Layered Service Provider replacement which you can use LSPFIX (Hint: use http://www.google.com to find).
The thread has follow on discussions about new links if you don't want to use Google to find an item.
PPS. All the tools are free.