have you changed anything in the config since the last time it worked OK?
With the latest update of Quake 3 including Punkbuster, its possible something in the config is causing PB to complain - perhaps "/r_subdivisions" being greater than 100.
Also, is PB enabled? If you're trying to play online without PB being enabled, it'll cause a problem - I remember just loading a game only for it to hang for ages, then kick me back to the main menu.
Might be worth uninstalling Quake 3 and all its mods, when thats done, delete the folder where it was installed.
Update your graphics card drivers now (if there are newer ones)
Install Quake 3 and then Point Release 1.32 (including Punkbuster - if you play Q3 online).
Install the mods one by one
I uninstalled, reg cleaned, etc. Re-installed, and quake runs. So i start dowloading pr 1.32 and go into quake, watch movie, go into it. Start up single player, click fight, then it brings up load screen, stays there, and i have to Ctrl+Alt+Del... Does the nvidia geforce 3 have a known issue w/quake? Last time it worked ok was before my last format of drives.... havnt changed anythin into weirdness.