I have a client who called, complaining that his PC would boot to the XP Pro Splash Screen, the blue bars would just roll forever and it would not continue to boot.
I tried everything but got the same results. When I tried safe mode, it just went to mup.sys and stopped there at the DOS-like screen.
I removed the drive, put it in a USB adapter, hooked it up to another computer, and was easily able to copy all of his documents to the server (where they should have been in the first place). His boot files looked normal to me from that viewpoint.
I decided at that point to just reinstall XP. Couldn't hurt, right? I had his data safe. I thought it whould take less time to reinstall then to troubleshoot. My plan was to repartition, reformat, and do a clean install.
I booted from an OEM XP CD. Got to "Setup is starting Windows", and just stayed there. No further activity, nothing. I tried a different OEM CD. Same thing. Tried a retail CD... same thing.
Now I was frustrated, so I tried a brand new drive. Same thing... I tried a second brand new drive... same thing.
I booted from a floppy and ran diagnostics on system RAM. All 512Mb passed ( 2X). Ran full diagnostices. CPU is good. L1 and L2 cache passed. All other hardware tests passed ( 2X).
ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated. This one really has me baffled. (not that that is too hard to do).. One billion points to the correct answerer.