One of the many benefits of Windows' Safe Mode is that it displays services as they boot. This can help you identify services that could be causing the system to hang. However, booting in Safe Mode also disables a variety of services, some of which you might need to troubleshoot the problem at hand.

Whether you're troubleshooting a problem or you just want to see what's going on when Windows boots normally, you can easily view services as they start. Just add the /SOS switch to the line in the Boot.ini file that starts with Windows 2000.

Boot.ini doesn't appear in Windows Explorer by default. To view it, open the root folder of the boot drive, and go to Tools | Folder Options. On the View tab, deselect the Hide Protected Operating System Files option.

Double-click Boot.ini to open it in Notepad. In the [operating systems] section of the file, locate the line that starts with Windows 2000. Except on a dual-boot system, this section typically contains only one line.

Add a space and the /SOS switch at the end of the line. Or copy the line, insert the copy below the original, and add the /SOS switch to the copied line. Change the description within the quotes to indicate the purpose of the entry, such as "Windows 2000 Professional Verbose Boot."

Save the Boot.ini file, and reboot the system. If you edited the default boot line, you should now see a list of services appear as the system boots. If you added a line with the /SOS switch, choose that entry from the Boot menu to boot the system with services displayed during startup.