Troubles seldom come singly and, having shot one down, I now have another. My machine is suffering not from a surfeit of lampreys but from a surfeit of error messages from Ufdtool and Spool32 - "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be closed. If..." which appear on the desktop immediately after startup is completed. The last item to appear and to download before the error messages appear is the McAfee Security Centre.
Spool32 has done this before but Ufdtool is a new one and at present they seem to alternate - on the present startup they each appeared no less than twice before the system (W98SE)loaded cleanly i.e. I had to re-start four times which, to say the least, is a bit excessive. There is no point in closing the Ufdtool or Spool32 window and carrying on as whatever one selects will sooner or later cease to function properly.
I have no wish to go over to WXP as my present system suits my needs and anyway as an OAP I can't afford it.
System has been "cleaned" and virus checks made by McAfee with nil returns. No undesirables show up in Ad-Aware or Spybot either.