After all of my testing, using multiple operating systems loaded on multiple hard drives, I have just about given-up on Windows 2000. There is a bug somewhere in Java/DNS/Cache that causes html pages to fail to render. The problem occurs in both Explorer and Firefox. If the computer is powered-up 24 hours/day, pages will load. Request a refresh, and the page fails. Eventually, even with the computer powered 24 hours/day, the page will stop loading.
The problem seems to be related to how the shaded "Google Custom Search" text is placed inside the search box. If it is hard coded into the page, everything works. If the brand is placed via java script, it fails. This is all speculation on my part. I have no real knowledge of how the internet functions.
With Microsoft's release of Windows 7, there are a ton of corporate leased XP boxes being returned. For $124.00, I purchased a refurbished P4 machine with XP restore disk, delivered to my door. Right in the sweet spot of functionality vs price point. Two generations behind the bleeding edge.
Thank-you Richard, for your concern and response. This trouble ticket is closed.