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I have a client machine (windows 2000 Pro) that fails to start up. The startup screen appears and the loading bar reaches 100% (full) then the system reboots.

Starting in safe mode does no better.. the long list of things to load appears, no errors, and again at the end it just reboots. I have tried swapping out every piece of hardware I can think of (minus the CPU and MOBO) and that does not appear to be the issue.

I have also run the 'repair' utility from the win2k pro CD. This shows no errors, attempts to repair the drive, then reboots... nothing has been fixed.

The reason I cannot just wipe this and fresh install is one of software sources.. this is a very very old system that is in the midst of being replaced, however the original software sources are gone (company that wrote them has been bought and no longer supports or even has the original software).
So while the new system is being built (and new software is being written) this is all the client has.

Things I've tried:
- Booting in safe mode
- Booting from the CD and running the repair utility
- Swapping out possibly faulty hardware
- created an image of the drive and loaded it to a new HDD and booted that
- Banged my head against the monitor a few times
Unfortunatly none of this got me any further..

IIRC windows XP gives you the option to 'upgrade' your current system to winXP without loosing any of your software? Does this work the same for installing 2000 over top of itself? I'm afraid to try this because the menu options do not say it will retain anything (and if it does not I have to restore the drive from the image again, which is a length process...). any suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Make a backup first :) And then try the in-place upgrade/repair trick, it should work fine on 2000.

Check out Rescue a Windows 2000 installation with an in-place upgrade for more info.

Insert the Windows 2000 CD into the drive, restart your system, and boot from the CD. Once the initial preparation is complete, you’ll see the Windows 2000 Professional Setup screen:


To initiate the in-place upgrade, press [Enter] to launch the Windows 2000 Professional Setup procedure. When you see the License Agreement page, press [F8] to acknowledge that you agree. Setup will search the hard disk looking for a previous installation of Windows 2000. Once it finds the previous installation, you’ll see a Windows 2000 Professional Setup screen:


When Setup locates the previous installation, you’ll be prompted to initiate the in-place upgrade.

As you can see, this second screen prompts you to press R to repair the selected installation or to press [Esc] to install a fresh copy of Windows 2000. In this case, initiating a repair operation is synonymous with performing an in-place upgrade, so you’ll need to press R.

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While you were busy typing this I was busy doing this :P like I mentioned the verbiage on the screens does not inform you (confidently) that it will retain your files and programs. It worked (for the most part, there are some errors in the applications but we should be able to work around that!) thanks for your time! – rlemon May 30 '12 at 17:52
@Moab: Missed a chunk - fixed. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 30 '12 at 17:53

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