Windows 2000 will install some drivers on initial install but Windows Update will not install drivers... unless you configured it to do so. My initial question would be "What color depth are you using? They should look good if you are using 16-bit or 32-bit color. It sounds like you are using 8." but...
You may need to fish around for the "Show Icons using all possible colors" setting. I'm not on the 2000 box so I leave this for you to find. Maybe TWEAKUI could help with that or it's ICON REBUILD tool.
As to drivers, I may have missed what video card you have, but as always, try the latest.
As to Windows Update, I suggest you set it to not do drivers.
i just bought a Samsung SyncMaster 710N. Everything with this monitor is quite satisfieing to me, but there is a big problem:
It seems like Windows 2000 (SP4 actually) has a big problem displaying things right through this monitor. I actually can not really believe that it is the monitor's problem, because i tested it for 45 minutes in the shop before buying it, but that was with a Windows XP machine.
It is hard to explain what it looks like, for me mostly like low color quality. I made a shot of an icon to show you what i mean, but i can not assure that what you see will be the same as what i see: http://www.spirit-within.net/ee/icon.jpg
When i looked at an icon before installing this monitor, it has not looked like a cheap gif,.. it looked like a normal high quality icon. Now this icon i have taken a shot of, shows a lot of single pixels, it looks raw, it does simply not look like it should.
I installed the Samsung Monitor driver, i have reset the colors, i have auto adjusted several times, i have switched to other resolutions (this TFT's optimum is 1280x1024) and switched back again of course - no change at all. Some pictures look really bad. Not like usual TFT quality, they look a bit pixelated). I launched Unreal I and had a look at the Direct3D performance, same there, strange pixelated graphics and partly unluminated surfaces...
I am really out of ideas, solutions or whatever. I noticed this problem at a friend's place too, quite the same TFT (some older Samsung) and Windows 2000. Please do not suggest me to upgrade to XP, i will not do this. I am running 2000 on a notebook at work and everything is fine, i know it is possible - so please - if you bring ideas, let them be solutions, because there must be one.
Thank you for reading and for any suggestions, ideas, solutions.
(ps.: You can also find information on this thread here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21135471.html)