windows sits at boot screen

Ok so I recently built a system...Athlon 64 3700, Abit mobo,Geforce 7600, A gig of pc3200 and I'm just running an oem xp home. My problem is that Every so often I will install something, nothing wierd, it will ask to reboot so that changes will take effect and then when the windows xp logo boot screen appears it sits there, never going any further. My first resort is to boot with "last known good settings". This has worked a few times. If that fails I will do system revovery and go back to before the suspect installation occured. If that fails I run xp setup and repair windows. I"m now at the repair windows stage. Actually the first and only other time I had to repair windows I didn't think of trying those other things. But none of that is working this time around and it also makes it more difficult when it has been a day or two since the last time the pc was restarted or shut down, lending for more time and a greater amount of things that has occured since everything was last working fine. This may be why I am having difficulty finding what has changed.

Things that I have installed before that have caused this to happen include Real Rhapsody (subscription music) and I think it had to do with installing a windows runtime driver thing. Also shortly after the "birth" of my pc I was installing software that came with my components like my motherboard drivers and stuff that came with my graphics card. When I installed some software that came with my maxtor HD it told me that xp wouldn't recognize drives over 130 something gigs and asked me if I would like it to fix that. I clicked yes even though it seemed that windows was recognizing the 300 gigs fine. It needed to reboot to alter these settings of course and then came the first incident of the problem I have been describing. What system files is it changing that would cause this? I've never seen this with any of my previous pc's before. Essentially when it hits the logo screen you hear the HD for a moment, then it stops, the load bar continues to move but nothing happens. In some instances the animated loading bar freezes for a while. When things are working fine it normally sits on that screen for no more than 4 seconds so it usually becomes readily apparent when it isn't going to boot.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Ok so I repaired windows and windows starts up fine. I decided I wanted to experiment with some drivers for my graphics card. Downloaded Omega's drivers, uninstalled my drivers, reboot into safe mode, ran driver cleaner pro (ot whatever its called), reboot, back to windws, install omega drivers, reboot, boot screen blues again. Had to do a system restore.

    I forgot to mention I am running service pack 2, just to be clear. I can't think of any more details to give. There has to be enough clues here for someone to recognize what's going on...I feel stupid because I can't figure it out. Did I do something wrong when I set my pc up in the very beginning? Something makes me think this is something to do with windows relationship to my HD. Maybe the only reason is because the first instance of this issue occured when installing Maxtor's packaged software. Also if there is a better forum for this topic please let me know.
  2. Ok so this happened once more. I booted into safe mode, ran system restore and looked at the list of checkpoints to find the culprit. The last checkpoint was "Software Distribution 3.0" so I restored from there and it worked. I'm not sure that necessarily means whatever that is caused it, but something between its installation and the last shiutdown. Honestly I can find no commonality in what causes this issue. I have no problems booting into safe mode or loading the BIOS screen. There are no other hints toward a problem except that every once in a while it will come to the logo screen, HD will search for a second, then it will stop, and it will just sit at the screen indefinitely. I can only figure the common denominator is that a system file gets changed by something that gets installed, or possibly a mobo driver gets toyed with.

    I'm starting to feel like I'm talking to myself here. No one has any ideas?
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