I install a lot of trial & beta softwares to get a first feel of the application. So I usually keep all the services disabled. I had kept the SQL server also disabled for quites some time. Today when i tried to start it again it refused :(.. (it seems that she was angry for leaving her alone).
When i checked the event viewer i saw the following message
The file "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\MSSQL\DATA\mastlog.ldf" is compressed but does not reside in a read-only database or filegroup. The file must be decompressed.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
so the compression was the culprit :) ( to save space windows had compressed these folders )
I opened "c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\MSSQL\DATA\" and uncompressed all the files in it by select the advanced properties of the files & un-checking - compress contents to save disk. Now it works like a brand new BMW :)