Stuck in a loop

My little Samsung Q1 PC has not been a well machine for a while. Fresh from its Java update over the weekend it has taken to sulking shortly after being powered up. Investigations revealed that a certain svchost process was taking the computer away without being asked. Being the subtle soul I am, I discovered that if I just kill the process the machine comes back, but this is hardly an elegant long term solution. So today I did some digging.

Turns out that Windows Update has a dark side which can cause it to lock your machine up. I took a while to find out what to do to get back into the driving seat, but if you have an XP system which has mysteriously slowed right down you might find it useful to take a look here.