Hi Christy, welcome to Geeks To Go!
Could be a few of things:Hardware:1)
First clue: the having to let it sit before it powers up again. This is an indicator of heat problems. You will want to open the case and see if the fan on the CPU is turning well and clear of dust, pet hair, etc. Also, make sure you can feel air moving out of the power supply fan at the back of the case.2)
Possibility: bad RAM. These are the memory sticks in your machine ("I have 256MB of RAM"; that's the stuff). RAM can be affected by heat, but can also fail in strange ways. RAM contains different "areas" on it that can go bad. Your machine will continue to function so long as you don't do anything to write to that bad area. Unfortunately, you will never know when some software is writing to a bad area and hence the wierd behaviour. Here is a little proggy that you can run that will test your RAM: http://www.memtest86.com/memt32.zip3)
Mainboard problems: this one you should prolly have your vendor deal with. There are some areas to check:a)
capacitors: these are little vertically placed, cylindrical(sp?) units of varying heights all over your mainboard . When you have the case open, check these over, especially the big ones. Look for bulging at the top and too hot to touch.b)
Make sure all empty slots on the board are clear and free of dust and dirt.Software:
Could be a crapware problem:
Read the instructions contained in this document and start a thread in the Malware forum:http://www.geekstogo..._Log-t2852.html
Hope this helps!
Be well, SD