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Uh oh windows problem

I'm having an issue with Windows XP, and this is the first time I've seen this happen:

While booting up the computer (I have a Dell desktop), it will come to the windows loading screen (black background, with the little scrolling green bar at the bottom), then the screen will blank out, and the computer will restart again. This process repeats itself ad infinitum. It never actually proceeds to the "select user" screen, but just up to the first windows loading screen, then the computer restarts.

I have to boot up safe mode in order to use the computer.

The above mentioned Windows XP is a copy that I had just installed yesterday morning. It worked fine for that entire day, even after shutting down the comp and restarting it. Now, (circa 10 minutes ago), I discovered this problem. I'm confused, because I have never seen this happen before, and I have no clue what's causing the "infinitely repeating boot screen".

While you are in safe mode, schedule a the computer to run chkdsk in write mode on the boot drive the next time the computer restarts.

Go to My Computer --> Right click on the boot drive --> Properties --> Tools --> Check Now... --> Check both boxes for Auto fix file system errors and scan and attempt recovery of bad sectors --> Click Start --> Restart computer.

Also, when it comes up saying "do you want to boot in safe mode" try to boot normally and see if there are any files missing as they scroll across the screen.
Hm, I ran chkdsk, and the scan finished fine, doesn't seem like anything was missing. However, upon restart again, the same problem persisted.

Right now, I'm actually more interested in knowing why this is happening as opposed to fixing it. So it's probably most likely that missing OS files are causing this problem?

I looked into the system restore menu, and it seems something called "Software Distribution Service 3.0" might be (?) causing these problems. It seems to be a windows update, but I didn't get anymore information on this. I tried doing a system restore to a point before this software distribution service was installed, but it said that system restore cannot restore to such a point.

Ah, screw it, I solved the problem the old way: reinstall windows and a quick format. So this time, I'm gonna leave automatic updates completely off...
Kinda off topic but if you see a greenbar instead of blue, upgrade to SP 2. Hopefully your not still on SP1 or using no service packs at all.
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