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3CRWE554G72TU losing contact with clients

This router has trouble even talking to a PC on Ethernet. Set up as DHCP, SPI on, WEP-128 enabled. PC is running Win98SE, on LAN port 1.

I can't even config the router properly because after several screens it stops responding to the browser. Sometimes it can't even get to the login.

Pinging the router ( right after a router and PC reboot typically shows 1 or 2 "request timed out" responses out of 4. All 4 time out (of course) when it stops talking to the browser.

Given this poor communication I'm afraid to even risk trying other firmware for fear the upload will die partway through, leaving the router in a completely unusable state. It currently has the most recent FW, the October 2005 release, 2.01.10.

I've tried three different cat5 cables; all act the same. I've tried various LAN addresses; makes no difference that I can see. It's a little hard to try much else in the config department because, as I said, I keep losing contact with the config page.

I bought this router used in the hopes that it would support DHCP, which my D-Link DI-524 doesn't. I don't know how old it is, but the serial number starts with 0100/7UTF47B. It's made in Taiwan and I think the most recent ones are made in China, if that makes any difference.

So far the D-Link is by far the more reliable device, which is a pretty sad statement on the 3Com. Can anybody see something I'm doing wrong, or did I just get a 3Com lemon?