It's been a while since I brought up anything related to my Windows 7 freezing. Mostly that's because I turned Aero off and it hasn't frozen since... but also b/c I haven't bothered to try anything else. That is until earlier this week.
At the end of January Microsoft released a optional update for Windows 7. Might as well try it, right?
I installed the update (along with a few other Win7 updates for the month. Restarted. Turned Aero back on. Then left the system idle for a while.
Came back to check it after a while and bam, froze. Did the same thing. The system "woke up" but I couldn't get my taskbar or anything. Exact same symptoms as before.
Sadly I think I'm throwing in the proverbial towel on this one. Will just end up buying another video card at some point and giving that a try. I don't think it's a driver thing. I think it's a hardware thing.