I'm always driving my computer into hibernate mode when I leave it but today I had to reboot it after a driver update.
Since reboots always take a while I left the room and returned one and a half hour later. Imagine my face when I saw the monitor still displaying the reboot process... I discovered that everytime it entered graphical mode, just before displaying the mouse pointer, the machine resetted and the boot-process began again.
No matter what I did, I couldn't re-enter windows again: - booting in protected mode - booting with boot-log enabled (log was empty then) - CHKDSK from recovery console - Simple repair from recovery console - throotling down BIOS preferences
After that I only had left to try the hard repair. This is reachable if you don't choose "Repair" immediately but "Install" and later, when you can select an already existing installation, you can choose a "harder" repair option, which not only checks a few system files but performs a in-depth replacement and re-setup of the system but keeping most (not all) of previous settings.
I had to perform that three times, the first two locked up when I hit "Next" on the local-settings setup dialog.
The third attempt was successful and I endet up with an running windows again with most stuff working as before the incident.
What not worked and hit me first was an error with the RAS-Service, when I tried to dial in into the internet. Didn't work because all my dialup connections have disappeared and I couldn't create a new one, always ending up with a senseless error. I found out that the "RAS connection manager" (RAS Verbindungsverwaltung) service wasn't running and when I tried to start it: "Error 5: Access is denied".
After digging through some forums and newsgroups I landet on Microsofts Knowledgebase article "You cannot create a network connection after you restore Windows XP" altough I was running Windows 2000.
But deleting the two registry folders as suggested brought back all of my dialup services and connections again.
Well, next stuff that doesn't work is sound altough everything seems set up right and no error is visible anywhere. After that I think I remember from previous repairs that Microsoft office will have problems...