A few days ago (November 2002) I accidentally installed an incorrect IDE driver in Windows 2000. The machine crashed instantly, and wouldn't boot anymore: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. Booted into Linux, where I found every Windows disk (including the NTFS volume that had Windows 2000) was perfectly readable.
My attempts to fix this: booting in Safe mode, "last known good configuration", from CD-ROM, Recovery console, FIXBOOT, disabling some services... nothing worked.
Booted back into Linux, copied the data I wanted to keep from the NTFS volume, and decided to re-install Windows 2000:
Total: TWO hours, and TEN reboots. Then you have an OS with Explorer, Minesweeper, and such. No other applications. After the initial install I removed the "quick launch" icon for Outlook ("sure you want to move it to the recycle bin?", NO I WANT TO DELETE IT, EMPTY RECYCLE BIN, "sure you want to remove this item?"). The icon reappeared sometime while installing the subsequent updates...
No I don't dislike Microsoft software. DOS 5.0 was actually ok.