Thought I'd update you. It wasn't the browser... that was wishful thinking. Kept getting worse and worse. I did everything possible, including "Return to Factory Settings" 4 times. Kept getting told different things by HP, followed their instructions to a T, ran all their diagnostics, blah, blah, blah.
Finally sent for an out-of-warranty repair. They returned with new: hard drive, battery, and power cord. Still problems. Sent in again. Got it back 4 days ago with new: fan-heat sink, system board, and keyboard. So far so good, but honestly with what I've gone through with them, I'm still holding my breath. Many horror stories involved with this, including them delivering the computer to the wrong address -- in a different state! (That took 8 solid hours on the phone to straighten out, and even then I had to pay the FedEx to get it. Still trying to get them to reimburse me.)
Two things that bother me re what they did this time: 1) they created 2 Admin users -- and left it that way; and 2) they screwed up Eset. After going through 2 hours with Eset support to undo what they had done, I got a call from an HP case manager yesterday
telling me the repair guys had sent her a note to contact me, to let me know that Eset was causing a conflict and was the root of the problem with it shutting down. (If they seriously think this is the problem, why did they wait THREE days to tell me??!!)
They'd told her to not re-install it, to try another AV program and to see if that solves the problem. I said, why don't I leave it in for a few days and see if it creates
a problem? I really do think what the repair guys said is bunk, and after 2 hours of working with Eset to fix the shit they had done (which was far more than just uninstalling it), I wasn't too keen on doing that.
Case manager told me there are hundreds of online discussions re: the conflict with Eset causing this problem. I'm not finding them. I asked her what words she used to google. She said she didn't know, just that repair guys told her this.
Maybe there really is a problem, or maybe there was
a problem with the last version (was version 5, now 6 with reinstall.) I don't know. I just know I will NEVER buy an HP again and will never recommend them to anyone.
So that's the update. Pray for me.