Yes, I still run Windows 2000 Pro, at least up until yesterday! Now, I cannot boot the computer.

Windows 2000 has three splash screen in the boot-up. The first screen is a DOS screen which says, "Starting Windows", and my system makes it through this screen fine.

The next screen is a white, graphical screen which says, Windows 2000 Pro; at the bottom it says, "Starting Up", and there is a series of bars. As the startup progresses the bars become a solid bar moving left to right. My system is freezing when the progress bar becomes a solid bar; thus, it does not make it to the 3rd splash screen which has the Windows 2000 announcement box.

If I attempt to boot in Safe Mode, the bottom of the screen shows, "Starting Windows", and has a progress bar expanding from left to right. In this case, the progress stops and the system freezes when the progress bar still has four small bars to the right. It just stops there and does nothing more; thus, I cannot even boot in Safe Mode.

My troubleshooting efforts have included:

I installed a different hard drive and installed Windows 2000 Pro. This drive boots just fine, so I assume that indicates that the problem isn't mainboard, memory, video, or hardware.

I set my problem drive as "Slave" and installed it as a second hard drive. At this point I was able to run virus scan software on the questionable drive, but no virus was discovered.

Using Windows Explorer, I examined the drive folders and files and I did error-scans on all three logical drives. Everything seems to be okay from a hardware standpoint, and I feel confident that the Western Digital drive itself is not the problem.

So, now, I have to believe that something in my Windows 2000 Pro operating system has become corrupted. In ancient times, nothing was loaded that did not come through the autoexec.bat and the win.ini files. (Yes, I am that old.) Now, through the miracles of Microsoft, too much unknown stuff gets loaded.

Have you ever seen or experienced this problem? Do you have any idea what I can modify or overwrite or disconnect that might make the system at least boot in Safe Mode?

One more little oddity that may or may not be pertinent. This install of Win2kPro was updated to Service Pack 4 nearly four years ago. However, I have looked at some event logs from several days ago and it appears to say that SP2 was updated to SP4. As I, an ignorant layman, read the event logs, this update appears to have been made shortly before my problems began. Also, there is an error entry regarding RASPPP.dll, a "Point To Point Protocol Module." Whatever that is!

Any insights and suggestions you might provide would be greatly appreciated. Although my data is backed up and secure, it will take days (if ever) to reinstall all of my software.