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Ubuntu, Mandriva, and Backtrack all freezing

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My system is a Dell Latitude
P9600 processor
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M
1440x900 screen
128GB SSD (have tried on an identical system with 250GB HDD also, same issues)
Dell 1510 wifi

and I can get Ubuntu, Mandriva, or backtrack to work

When I try any of them, they all freeze within 5-10 minutes of starting the computer. I barely even make it through the install process for Mandriva and Ubuntu.

I have tried disabling the Nvidia driver in Ubuntu, and that does not seem to make a difference (via restricted driver manager).

One of my friends suggested it is a kernel issue because it is cross-distro, but I am not sure how to go about testing that theory...

Any ideas on what may be wrong?
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