This could be related to a Windows 'feature' where if you place an .INI file in a Windows system folder, i.e., C:\Windows, or modify such a file, it might then be copied automatically into the various user profile folders. This is done for various legacy reasons supporting compatibility with older style applications that very likely don't even run under Windows any more.
(If the CAPWIN.INI in your system folder had the wrong path information in it, the copy process would also cause users to be unable to load the software as you described.)
Search for all CAPWIN.INI files on your server and remove all copies except for the ones that should exist. If your CAPWIN.INI is placed in your user profile folder under virtual store this means you have old versions of CAPITAL found in your ..\CAPITAL folder. In that case you may wish to specify on your short-cut the location of the CAPWIN.INI and place this file in a neutral location not 'managed' by Windows. I.e.,
(And then move your CAPWIN.INI into a folder you create called C:\CAPDATA.)
If your configuration files already point to ..\Users\<user_name>\Documents\CapitalOfficeV8\CAPWIN.INI
-- then that is safer, except if your profiles get corrupted. Which shouldn't happen very often. But if it does happen, manually specifying a location for the CAPWIN.INI will resolve that issue as well.