to BC, davelr.
This is a netbook, correct? I may be able to help you, since I have a netbook, as well.
Okay, what programs do you have set to startup? Keep in mind, netbooks weren't meant for heavy multi-tasking.
Do you still have the default 1GB of RAM or have you upgraded to 2GB? If you don't have 2GB, I would certainly consider the upgrade....it's the best thing I ever did with my netbook.
Do you experience this problem in safe mode?
I'm assuming this netbook came with Starter preinstalled?
Have you tried browsing with Firefox
? I know you said other programs were having problems too, but I still despise IE8....Firefox will give you a better experience.
Can you make backups using Acronis
? The trial version is fully functional for 30 days.