Given that I've not installed any new programs lately, Windows is up to date, an avast! Free Antivirus scan found no problems, and my usage pattern hasn't changed, I thought that it might be my RAM. So, I removed the RAM, cleaned the connection areas with an eraser, then tested each stick individually with Memtest86+. Both sticks passed with zero errors. After the cleaning and testing I reinserted the RAM (making certain that it was properly seated) and things were good for a couple of days.
Then the freezing-crashing began anew and eventually led to the Cap Lock-num lk LED lights flashing a four-blink code, indicating a supposed graphics controller problem. I re-cleaned the RAM and placed the sticks in an anti-static bag, then (with the battery already removed) held down the power button for thirty seconds to release any built up charge. Upon reinserting the RAM and rebooting the LED lights were no longer flashing and everything seemed fine. For about a day, then the freezing-crashing started again.
As I typed above, my usage hasn't change, but I've noticed that if I'm not engaged in any extreme multitasking the freezing-crashing doesn't occur; it's when I do engage in extreme multitasking (but not extreme relative to my typical usage and not every time) that the freezing-crashing occurs. It's almost as if there's some kind of communication breakdown (ooh whoa-oa! ) between various pieces of hardware such that the RAM isn't being efficiently utilized. My knowledge of hardware is limited, so I was hoping that someone more knowledgable than I might point me in the right direction. Thanks again for your time.
Edited by LouieChuckyMerry, 08 December 2012 - 11:07 PM.