So, I have been tinkering with my system recently, and I didn't come up with much in the way of related info on this out there in the intarwebs, so, here's the deal.
I have an ASUS M2N-SLI mobo and all-SATA drives. I was adding a hot-swap drive bay in the front so I could easily swap out the main drive. I added it, ghosted the OS drive (entire drive), and then shut down, swapped in a new blank drive, and ghosted the image onto it.
All was peachy at this point.
Then I rebooted.
The system was locking up almost immediately at the post screen. No drive detection, no nothing. Well, after pulling almost everything internally, and then putting it all back, I realized one thing I hadn't tried: The usb hub.
The usb hub will now lock up the boot sequence if it is plugged in- or if you plug it in while it is booting- all the way up until the point the login box for winxp shows up.
I may have reset relevant BIOS settings in the what-did-I-break adventure, but I did disable the 'boot from usb'- so that's not it. Anyway, it's locking at the initial post screen, so, I doubt it's related.
I suppose I could poke through the devices on the hub, too... nah.
Today I will get a new hub and see if this continues. Hope not.