I have been doing some research on your strange error for the last few hours.
Quick question, have you ever had a I-worm virus on your machine sometime in the past? The reason I ask is, firstly its affecting your email client, secondly; direct, db, notify, wnd and proc all appear to be components of a I-worm virus that I'm looking at at the moment, each one of those components are basically how its built in the programming.
Also, seeing as you are running Windows 98, this is what the builder says in the readme file:
"If windows 95/98 is detected it will try to locate the wsock32.dll and copy it to wsock32.inf. It also copies itself to the windows system directory under the name wsock2.dll. Then it will add the worm code to the .inf file by increasing the size of the last section. Next the worm will point the send api address in the wsock32.inf export table to the virus code. Finally the worm drops a wininit.ini file in the windir to direct windows at the next reboot to overwrite the original wsock32.dll with the infected wsock32.inf."
I may or may not be right, but there seem to be quite a few coincidences. Could your A/V have missed something?