Have you tried anything else like defragment ?
Your main problem is you are using ME . Sorry but it just won't work very well on some systems and there's not a lot you can do about it, or rather no matter how much you try it will always give you problems with some setups.
There is nothing wrong with IE version 6 it's the updated version.
Have you been using Windows automatic updates ? They can be troublesome with ME.
You could try BigFix available from click here to update you system with the necessary patches.