|The restore disk that came with the computer should work OK as long as it and the cdrom are in good condition. If you created a separate restore disk then I don't know if that will work.|
A regular 98 installation cd should work too.
Sometimes bad ram can cause installation problems. Memtest86 is the most popular ram testing software:
There are downloads to create a bootable cd or floppy disk.
You have an older system so it's probably best to use an older version. The newest and most recent previous versions are downloadable from the memtest86 site. You can download an earlier version here:
They usually say to let it run for several hours.
If the ram checks out bad then obviously you need to replace it. If it's OK then the problem is elsewhere.