Most likely the issue is with some IE add-on. Either one that came installed as part of the HP factory image, one you installed, or a hitchhiker you picked up along the way in the form of malware.
So just as a quick test, go into the IE settings and disable all add-ons, restart IE, and then try browsing for a time and see if the problem persists. If the problem goes away, you need to enable add-ons one at a time and test after enabling each one, until you find the problem add-on. If the problem persists, then the problem is likely elsewhere with the system.
I just got a new HP laptop running Intel Core i7 and Windows7 Home Premium. I'm also using IE 9.
A lot of times when I have a tab open in IE9, and open a new tab, either by clicking on the new tab, or a link inside the current page opens the new tab when I click it - when I'm done with what I needed and go to close the new tab, I get an error message 'Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working' IE freezes until I close the error window. It doesn't happen every time a new tab is opened - I just can't narrow it down to what is actually causing it.
If anyone has any info they could share with me, I'd really appreciate it.