Okay, the first post and I'm going to object. Windows is the Evil(TM). Period. Grrr.
The story started by notebook coming to me to install HP drivers for a brand new bought printer. Ok, I inserted shipped CD and started with installation process. In the middle it stalled and nothing was going to happen. Reboot. Hard. Again, the very same issue. Hm, windows reinstall came on my mind.
So I inserted WXP home edition CD and started reinstall process. Installation has been done and the new system boots, nice. Let's use iiiiiiii...it hangs about a minute after logon (let me clarify, what do I mean by hangs in this case: mouse is moving, _some_ apps may be executed, no answer to ctrl-alt-del, ctrl-alt-esc keys, no response to clicks of mouse on start menu, i. e. explorer.exe hangs plus some other parts of system).
Fine, I agreed, no SP2+connection to Internet, it's error-prone, nevermind. I'll reinstall it again with no connection to the Net and installing SP2 right after reinstallation. No way, it didn't help!
It may be a hardware error, appeared on my mind. I downloaded and burned memtest86+ and tried it out. No error for a couple of hours, weird. Then, I'd test harddisk. I used for this smartctl from Fedora 5 rescue CD. I ran short S.M.A.R.T. with no negative results. I tried also a long one, no results too (and also no records in log).
It almost excluded HW failure, but I found out, that it recovers in 30 minutes or so and the system is usable again for a while. I let it update by Microsoft updates and it succeeded. The situation after this big update is a little bit better, but it still hangs, however for much more shorter times. Ok, I installed rest of software back, also the HP driver and returned the notebook back. I want to Kill Bill.