5 installs of Windows XP and service pack 2 later, I have returned the victor!
To make a long story short, it was the graphics card driver. I uninstalled it in safe mode restarted and it went right into Windows without so much as a pause. I’ve loaded up some of my applications including those necessary to get the Zen Vision up and working. I only meant to watch the first few seconds of the episode of Battlestar Galactica I loaded, but ended up watching all 45 minutes of it. I’ll post a review of the Zen player at another time, but needless to say I am pleased with it.
Now I can get some sleep and get back to work.