Today, after I awoke my laptop from sleep mode, I browsed Firefox and watched something on YouTube, and when it was done, I closed the tab. Right after that, the desktop froze. But right before this happened, Google Chrome had been running in the background and I closed it through the little notification icon (this was about less than 5 minutes or so before the freezing happened). I have no idea if my laptop freezing was because of Flash, or Firefox, or Chrome closing but this freezing stuff happens from time to time, so I did what I always do: I manually turned off my laptop then turned it back on.
This is where the frustration began. The screen with "Microsoft Corporation" and the loading bar underneath it usually goes away in under a minute, but this time it was on for about five before I restarted my laptop again. After that, the startup screen suggested I run Startup Repair. This is not common for me, so I got a little worried. While Startup Repair was running, a prompt for System Restore pops up and I agree then about 30 minutes later, Startup Repair asks to restart. However, it didn't seem to work because the Microsoft Corporation/loading bar screen was still hanging. I restart manually again and try Startup Repair again, but this time, it just restarted on its own without prompting me for anything. Yet again the loading bar screen was hanging. So this time around, upon manually restarting again, I tap F8 and open Safe Mode and here I am, asking for help. I'm glad I could open Safe Mode to save pictures and important stuff to my Dropbox before any of this gets worse. I am not sure what to do now. Earlier when the prompt for System Restore popped up, nothing System Restore related happened afterwards, so should I run that?
For clarification, I did not make any system changes right before this happened, only downloaded pictures and the like.
I should also mention that a few weeks ago, something similar to this happened where my laptop froze after I woke it up and after manually restarting, my desktop would freeze after only a few minutes of it starting up. I had run CHKDSK once but it didn't help as it too froze. It was stuck for several hours. And System Restore did not help either. I could only work in Safe Mode. I am not sure why but for some reason creating a new User Account fixed this or at least seemed to fix it.
Also, I am running Windows Vista 64-bit and I have an HP Pavilion dv6000 notebook that will be 7 years old this year, so I suppose the issue could be that it's finally crapping out on me. Sorry if I left anything else important out and thanks for any help.