Problem launching applications, system freezing

I have 5.10 installed on a P4 766 with 256 ram using onboard graphics.  I find that a number of problems have developed. The system freezes up if left running overnight. Have to switch off to restart. Sometimes an application will not launch, happens with any application, you try to launch and nothing happens. Other times if you minimise the application it just disappears, ie does not show on the panel at the bottom of the screen. I have tried looking for errors but do not know enough about linux at this stage to  find the solution. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hope this helps

I'd start by looking for errors in the /var/log directory.

You may want to try installing a new kernel using Synaptic Package Manager, aptitude, apt-get, etc.

Here's what I have:

$ dpkg --list linux-686 linux-image-686
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
ii linux-686 Complete Linux kernel on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV.
ii linux-image-686 Linux kernel image on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV.

Good luck!