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It depends on how "adaptable" the mounts on the "surround" of the LCD screen, i.e., whether the one "surround" was used by COMPAQ for both 14" and 15" LCD screens, or whether the part-numbers were different.
Please uninstall all the USB Drivers from the Device Manager and then restart the Computer. The USB Drivers are Operating System generic Drivers. The Computer will reinstall the Drivers for USB automatically
I'm not sure what good getting into safe mode is going to do?
More than likely this is a hardware problem - If you have already tried different RAM the next thing would be CPU. You may be able to just reseat the CPU in it's socket to help things out.
On the N1020v to access the CPU, you just have to remove 2 screws underneath the power button strip and then the keyboard just pops up. Remove the heatsink and the CPU is right there. If you want to replace it use the part number on the CPU itself (something like SL245)
To forewarn you though - i have worked on these laptops many times and more often the problem is a failing motherboard than a bad CPU or RAM. However it is worth a shot at fixing it if it just needs a CPU.