End in sight to reboot hell?

I have been struggling with Windows Vista for a month or two. Regularly the system ran out of resources, regularly reboots were required to re-enable functionality. The symptoms were eerily reminiscent of classic GDI resource heap exhaustion: windows would refuse to open, pop-up menus stubbornly stayed closed, applications reported an inability to save to disk or access the registry.

I am now trying various patches to see if I can fix the problem. After a blue screen of death (yes, those still happen on Vista), it occurred to me that the problem must be in a device driver; after all, that code gets to play at a privileged OS level where it can do things like attempt to overwrite read-only memory. I suspected the video driver, and attempted to use an update from Intel’s web site to update the driver (for the record, it’s the Intel Mobile Chipset 945), but was told that the upgrade was not installable on my machine (an HP Compaq NC6320 laptop).

Now I am getting a message from the Windows problem reporting system that one of my issues may be fixed by a hotfix for KB 931671. We’ll see if this does fix the problem, or if I continue down the path of no return with this OS. Already not a good sign: I am being forwarded for the second time in a 20 minute call to another department because the reps I have been speaking to are not authorized to distribute the hotfix.