So, I have everything set up. Network "card" works, Windows is running fine. I start running Windows Update to grab stuff, including SP4.
I don't really notice, because my parents sit me down for a Talk (more on that later), but the system freezes up while trying to reboot. After the Talk, I reset it and log in. Install the Google toolbar, start installing Norton Anti-Virus.
The third time, it freezes at the login screen.
So, I pull up the Recovery Console and tell Dad to check the MS Knowledge Base for information on uninstalling SP4. Turns out it ships with a batch file that can be invoked from the Recovery Console as an emergency uninstall. So I run that, go to dinner, come back, and reboot.
This time, it reboots as soon as it finishes loading Windows. Not freezes, but reboots. It keeps doing this in a loop.
So I start up Windows setup in Repair mode. I pull up a TNG episode on the Replay (the one where they introduced Reg--great ep) and wait while it performs the hours-long repair process. After the show, I decide to rearrange things so I can see the screen better.
I accidentally pull the plug on the computer.
When I boot up again, Windows refuses to install to that partition. Delete it, recreate it, format it--no workey, FAT or NTFS.
So I found another hard drive (unfortunately, one of questionable reliability) and fiddle with it for a while to start the 2000 install process again. Watch a mis-labeled 7 Days ep (I used to watch that show a lot...), then Inuyasha, then Big O. Then I came to this computer to type up this entry.
It just never ends...