I have a Windows 2000 server with a 450MHz Pentium chip, 256MB of RAM, a 20GB hard disk, an NTFS partition, an attached CD-ROM and CD-writer, and a SiS 6215 video card. At startup, the system displays the message Starting up, and a black shade moves across the screen nine times. The system then displays the message Preparing network connections—and hangs.

After I restart the system several times, it finally starts up correctly—but this success occurs seemingly by luck. The problem is worst in the morning. I can't find any error messages in the event log. Can you help me?

You seem to have a hardware lock. The problem is probably your video card or your NIC. First, remove the NIC. If the system still won't boot normally, try a different video card instead. If the system still hangs, your motherboard is probably flaky and you need to replace it.