I find that XP frequently locks up, even when in the middle of performing the simplest tasks. I also had the same problem with Windows ME. It drove me nuts until I finally replaced it with Win2000.
Although I'm no authority on technical matters IMHO both ME and XP are highly unstable systems. The most stable Win OS in my experience is Win2000.
What I've found with XP though is that, when it freezes, if you just wait for perhaps a minute or so it tends to unfreeze and return to normal.
So the next time XP freezes up, instead of desperately clicking your mouse or repeatedly hitting ENTER and then giving up to shut down and reboot when nothing happens, just WAIT PATIENTLY FOR A MINUTE OR SO.
It works like magic. XP will suddenly start to come out of its coma and stir to life, the screen will flicker, and BINGO! You'll be back in business.
Best wishes to all,
Edited by scratcher, 19 October 2006 - 07:38 PM.