I think the word you meant to use to describe your situation is 'traumatized'..
Well it is probably not a Windows problem.
At what point does it freeze? After the desktop shows?
Have you tried a different version of knoppix? or Ubuntu?
Make sure the specs for your system match the requirements of the version of linux you are installing or using.
If you are making it past the gdm (graphic login screen) then the issue is probably not with X.. but possibly the window manager instead... or your default home/root directory.
Try waiting several minutes to see what happens if the same problem can still be reproduced.
Sometimes the initialization takes longer than normal (the first time you log in).. but after that you should be able to boot into it much quicker.
Also, when you install, you NEED to (usually) have a root password (that is valid) and user name... if not, the issue you have may be a result.
The problem with knoppix disk is probably something unrelated, and you just need to use a version which is more compatible with your hard ware.