For the love of God, is it too much to ask from Microsoft to get an error from Windows XP that MEANS SOMETHING?
A friend got stuck in XP endless reboots. He could boot in safe mode, but that was it. He used it as an excuse to get a bigger hard drive. Well, when trying to install XP on it, it just hung. Sat there at 'starting Windows' and did nothing. No errors, no reboot, just... nothing. And this on a machine that was running XP the previous day.
So being the nice guy I am, I took a look at it. Hard drive installed correctly. Hmm. ACPI / Video settings? Cache? SMART drive settings? Nothing worked. I fdisked, formatted, copied files to the drive and ran the install from there... same thing. Stripped the machine down to the bare bones... same thing. Sure, I found a lot of info about the problem, but not much in the way of real help.
So, cursing Bill, I put the old drive in and started to look at it. A quick cleanup and virus scan courtesy of the Ultimate Boot CD, and I dug in. Quickly determined that it won't boot with networking enabled. I uninstalled the last Windows Update patch, and up she came.
Now, we install the second drive as a secondary, fdisk and format, move his My Documents over, and let him use it as a data drive.
Rumor has it Vista is going to be far more stable... as long as you have decent hardware to run it on. Here's hoping.