22 November 2008
I don't know if your circumstances exactly mirror those I experienced, but I have struggled with something like you have described for a long while with Vista 32-bit Ultimate and IE7; it would freeze at certain cites, seemingly at random, then I had to control-alt-delete to close it and it automatically restarted. After searching the entire web and Microsoft knowledge base and contacting Microsoft support and trying almost every solution offered, all to no avail, I stumbled onto a solution that works for me.
A hint was that some web sites and some programs did not display correctly. My display card was fast and had an up-to-date driver and all the rest of my hardware and drivers seemed OK as well. So it looked like something in software was to blame. When the issue of incorrect screen display became a real functional problem in one of my new programs (Dreamweaver CS4), I contacted Adobe support who tried and couldn't solve the problem despite a 3 hour session trying every fix they suggested. On a call-back to them several hours later a new tech told me that he had seen the problem in Dreamweaver before and could resolve it. It worked, and, amazingly, solved my other display and web IE7 freeze problems as well. Here's the two part answer, and it's unbelievably simple - if this is what is causing your problems as well.
Earlier, before calling Adobe, a partial fix that worked some of the time in IE7 was, in IE7, go to Page>Text Size, and if you had Largest or Large, select Medium instead. But this was only a very, very partial fix and left the worst problems unsolved.
Adobe's solution, which seemed to solve everything else, was to right click the Desktop, left click "Personalize", and in the left-side vertical "Tasks" column, left-click "Adjust font size (DPI)", and if "Larger scale (120 DPI)" is selected, change it to "Default scale (96 DPI)" instead. Bingo, all programs display properly, web site display and frequent IE7 freezes ended. It may not work for you, if your problems arise from different issues, but it's worth looking at.