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Check to see what your power functions (in the control panel) are set to--it might be set to turn off or sleep after a certain amount of time (but this does not sound like the problem). I am thinking it is more of a heat problem--as that is what usually caused freezing. The thing is, if it is a heat problem, then you would experience the freezing while working.
At this time, because we really do not know what is happening, I would clean out the dust by blowing it out through the vent holes. Now look in the control panel and see what your settings are for power. If you are running Windows Vista, turn off the hibernation mode.
Run the msconfig command from the "Run" menu item. Uncheck any programs that do not need to be running (leave your antivirus programs and things like that checked) Now try it out.
Unfortunately, I have seen this many times. One of the major problems with the C400 model was the USB port failing. I have had many of them replaced under warranty, and I have repaired some. The USB port breaks loose from the mother board and stops working. It is possible to SOMETIMES disassemble the laptop enough to get to the port and re-solder the USB port connections. But is is a slow process for experienced people. And it does not work all of the time. i know that this is not the answer that you wanted.
If you hit F11 you will get the restore option. Once this runs it will ask you whether you want to restore (which will keep your existing personal files) or format the drive to bring it back to factory settings, just as you received it without your added programs or files. You can cancel at any time before the format takes place, because formatting will erase everything before loading your new operating system. Hope this helps you.......
It will max at 1g of memory. That's going to give you the max performance possible with this machine. You can also get the program CCleaner from filehippo.com. It cleans out unnecessary junk file build up and keeps your laptop running smoothly. I run my cleaner once a week.