Driver Problems and IRQ/DMA Conflicts
A very common source of lock ups, mysterious resetting of the system when you start a harmless application and similar problems is a bad driver. Always use the correct drivers compliant with your particular version of Windows. If you have problems to find driver updates on Windows Update site look at the manufacturers website. Even some very good and famous hardware manufacturers can put out quite buggy drivers. Driver updates are a common thing. When you suspect a particular driver is a problem you can disable it in Windows and see if the lock ups still happen. It is of course if you can live without the device you disabled its driver. When it comes to video device driver, you can install Microsoft VGA driver, the one you see in Safe mode it will not cause a lock up.
In Device Manager, you can Disable the driver, Uninstall the driver or since Windows XP you can Roll Back a driver (get back the previous version after update).
There can be some other software related lock ups other then bad drivers, such as IRQ or DMA conflicts.
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