W2K in perpetual login loop after upgrade

I installed (using upgrade option) Windows 2000 on a Dell Dimension 4100 that had ME previously.  The upgrade itself wasn't smooth, I had to uninstall a bunch of apps before it would go, and perhaps I didn't uninstall everything I should have, because now the pc is really messed up.

The Windows login screen comes up, I log in using Administrator and the password, then a display dialog comes up saying "Loading your personal settings", and immediately after that another one saying "Saving your personal settins" and I'm back at the login window again.

I've tried safe boot, safe boot with networking, safe boot with command prompt, booting up the last known good configuration (must have been before windows was ever installed, I think) and none of them have any different effect.

Is there some other magic key combination that prevents windows from loading utilities, anti-virus software, whatever other trash is in the registry so that I can get a start prompt?  

How do I fix this now?
LVL 3
savalouAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

CrazyOneCommented:
HOW TO: Change the System/Boot Drive Letter in Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;223188

http://www.jsiinc.com/subh/tip3900/rh3920.htm

"3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

If a repair does NOT cause your computer to operate normally, you may wish to try an in-place upgrade, a last resort before reinstalling. The in-place upgrade takes the same time as a reinstall.

To perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Boot the CD-ROM (or boot disks).

2. Press Enter to install a copy of Windows 2000.

3. Accept the License Agreement.

4. If setup does NOT detect a your installation, an in-place upgrade is NOT possible.

5. When prompted to repair the existing installation, press R. Setup will perform an in-place upgrade"
-------------------

http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBJ/tip4500/rh4508.htm

"4508 » What does a Windows 2000 in-place upgrade change and not change?

I described performing an in-place upgrade in tip 3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

When you perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Service Packs, hotfixes, and IE upgrades are rolled back.

2. Default registry values are restored.

3. Default permissions are reapplied.

4. COM and WFP are reregistered.

5. Plug and Play devices and the HAL are re-enumerated.

6. Drive letters are changed based upon the current drive and partitions. See Q2324048 - How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters.

The following is NOT changed:

1. Installed components and programs.

2. Passwords.

3. Third-party registry entries.

4. The computer's role.

NOTE: If you upgraded your computer from Windows NT 4.0, profiles were stored at %SystemRoot%\Profiles. The in-place upgrade creates a \Documents and Settings folder and changes the registry profile to point to it. To fix the problem, use the Registry Editor to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. For each user, there will be a SID sub-key and a Value Name of ProfileImagePath. Change the string value to point to %SystemRoot%\Profiles\<UserName>."
0
savalouAuthor Commented:
I started a recovery console and copied the default software registry hive in place of the existing one that win2k had a problem with.  That fixed the login-loop problem.  
0
Computer101Commented:
PAQed, with points refunded (500)

Computer101
E-E Admin
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 2000

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.