PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA shutdown - cant boot

i get the following blue screen error during boot, just as windows gets to asking for a password:
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*** STOP: 0X00000050 (0X80010031,0X00000000,0X80401C17,0X00000000)
PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

*** Address 80401c17 base at 80400000, Datestamp 3ee6c002 - ntoskrnl.exe

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or
technical support group.

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it comes and goes very quickly (i had to take a photo to read it) and the machine restarts over and over.  Its a dell laptop running windows 2000 pro

i had just gotten internet at home and the guy who came installed some wierd dialer (its broadband but you have to connect each time). on this machine the internet was causing a blue screen and a restart after a while.  i thought it was a virus, and there was clearly a browser hijacker in there, so tried to install windows defender, but it hung up at the end of the install and didnt seem to take .  i then installed norton antivirus 2006, and sometime shortly afterwards the blue screen stepped up its activity to prohibit a startup of any kind

things ive tried:
safe mode: same thing, gets close to finishing startup then blue screen and restart
repair using original windows 2000 CD: got to 'repair complete' - no effect
fiddle with RAM: there are 2 ram sticks in there, i tried them in every configuration

im on the brink of trying a windows re-install.  is there any hope of fixing the problem from recovery console or outside of windows?  that would seem to be the only hope.  any ideas?
theotrainAsked:
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GranModConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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cpc2004Commented:
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CyberGhostCommented:
This might also be a problem with your Hard Disk.
In case it is faulty, Windows might not be able to write to it's specific part - most probably the part where paging file is located.
I also had this problem before when I have used a faulty RAM (memory).
Try to do HDD (Hard Drive) and RAM benchmark on another computer if cpc2004's solution doesn't work.
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theotrainAuthor Commented:
well there were probably a couple of possibilities i could have pursued on cpc2004's link, but i just bit the bullet and re-installed windows.  everything had been recently backed up to an external drive so its not so bad.

it seemed way too coincidental that i would be experiencing a hardware malfunction on a computer thats worked for years shortly after some guy from an internet company came and installed a shady-looking dialer and who knows what else (im in Argentina right now, where technology is pretty 5 years ago - i dont expect certified software)  so i figured it must be software.

as i said swapping the ram did nothing.  but i cant explain why a windows repair didnt work, would that fix a registry problem? (i really dont kow)

and doesnt windows scan the drive on a new install?  it seemed to go fine.  well if it is hardware i suppose it will happen again but so far im having no problems.

thanks...
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