I've experienced the same problem with Works 4.5 on several different installations and have never found the cause. As you say, reinstalling doesn't seem to fix the problem.
However, although I no longer have Works 4.5 on any system, I have installed it onto a CD-R and it runs perfectly from there and without that problem ever cropping up!
The only difference when it's opened by clicking it's EXE on the CD-R is that it shows the message, Cannot Open Help Files, Run setup again. Just click OK on that and it opens and works perfectly then and more than fast enough for the job.
Since I run multiple systems I find that CD-R method very useful for when I want to access WPS files or look at a spreadsheet on any system. If you want to do this, just choose the CD Writer drive letter when installing. The CD-R disc must be formatted for Direct writing (UDF) and Easy CD Creator is the best program for this purpose since it can convert the disc later for use on any computer, but failing that, a CD-RW will work as well for this purpose.