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System hangs after several hours of non-use

I have an HP 9340f, with plenty of RAM. Win 7 Home premium. I have Norton as AV (provided by the cable company).

I can be using the computer, and everything seems okay. Until I leave the machine sit for a few hours, I come back, the monitor is on (even though I've set the PC to shut the display off after 15 minutes, and set the computer to NOT go to sleep).

The mouse cannot be moved (thus, none of the programs can be accessed). I can't do a Ctrl-Alt-Del, to get to the task manager.

The only solution is to do a power button off. When I restart the PC, it tells me that windows was shut down abnormally, I choose boot Windows normally, and everything is up and running again.

This happens all the time. I don't remember it happening a month ago.

I've not tried a restore point, yet.

I noticed that Norton will tell me that it is performing a full system scan as a background task, but I don't know if this is causing the thing to lock up.

Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks.

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