I once had a hassle with 98se "hanging" whilst using the NIC's,I updated/replaced the NIC (on the 98se puter)driver,and all my hassles departed(it also kept "forgetting" it had an NIC installed)Not sure if it would help you,but nothing ventured,nothing gained.
I have changed the IP addresses so many times I am beginning to forget which address belongs to which NIC..! :-)
I will see if there's an update for the NIC.
Unfortunately I have so far been unable to active ICS as it appears BTOpenworld do not allow it if you're on their Plug'n'Go 500 service so I'll have to download to floppy... what a long-winded way of doing things... :-(