The connection between Oracle and Microsoft drivers is a big pain. I know this from many previous experiences.
Try using previous MDAC versions (2.6, 2.5 ...) and see if this helps. The better match between the Microsoft DLLs and Oracle DLLs is the catch here. Since the Oracle is 8i, try the best MDAC that works. I am very positive that an earlier version should work!
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This was first published in January 2002